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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
Igzy
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Default Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

My desire for posting on this forum has always been simply to help people over the hump of being able to deal psychologically with leaving the LC. Mostly I have done this by arguing that many LC teachings and beliefs are unbiblical, illogical and untenable.

I hope that has been helpful, but I’d like to start a thread to provide some advice for people who are considering leaving or have left and are still having trouble moving on.

Here are some things which I had to learn the hard way. I think they will help you make the transition more easily:
  1. Pray. Pray a lot. The fact is most LCers don’t know how to pray for themselves or their family in a detailed and focused way. This has to be learned if you are going to move on. Get practical and specific with your prayers. Ask God to show you what is real and what is false. Ask him to protect you from spiritual attack. Ask him to fill you with peace and joy. Ask him about specific LC teachings which are holding you back. Ask him about the local ground, spiritual authority and any other teachings you have taken for granted. You’ll be amazed how he opens your eyes.

    There is one mediator between man and God--and it is not Witness Lee, the BBs, Titus Chu, or your former elders or small group leader. It’s Jesus. We have direct access to God. 1 John says we don’t need anyone to teach us. That means God himself will lead us. Call in this promise on your life. Pray about everything. God will answer.

  2. Get to know God. The LC mindset is not truly conducive to getting to know God. God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being. Throw that teaching in the trash. It’s keeping you from knowing God personally. God is a person we can get to know. Eternal life is knowing God. That means getting to know his thoughts, feelings and tendencies. He will communicate these to you if you stop thinking about him all the time as water, bread or a “dose.” Sure in a sense he is all these things. But they are all metaphors for what he is to us personally. First and foremost he is a person. Talk to him and think of him as a person as real and approachable as your wife or best friend. Because he is actually more so that than anyone.

  3. Read the Bible and throw away the footnotes. Read a lot of different Christian authors. Read carefully, but with an open, uncritical mind. Give God a chance to say something to you that you don't expect. Notice how all writers and teachers are a little different and are just expressing their points of view. Then realize that's all Witness Lee was doing, whether or not he thought so himself.

  4. Focus on the first and second commandments. Love God and love people. We all know we are supposed to love God. But LCers have a strange way of loving people. You can’t love people if you treat and think of them as aliens from another planet. I think the best thing for any LCer would be to have a gay couple move in next door and to hear God telling them to love and be good neighbors to that couple (this actually happened to me), to learn to see them as people just like you, because the fact is that’s how God sees them. God loves everyone. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Learn to look at everyone the way God sees them. Love the bum on the street. Love the guy with the bandana, tattoos and piercings. Stop calling them “the unbelievers.” Love Christians of all stripes. Stop calling them "those in Christianity." That’s just elitism and snobbery, and it is not Jesus.

  5. Banish fear and stay positive. Faith and fear have something in common. They both ask us to believe something in the future that we cannot see. Fear is the enemy's tactic. Faith is God's way. When you begin to notice fear creeping around, banish it, and stand in faith that God wants to set you free.

    Tell yourself that you are God’s child and he loves you and has a purpose for you. Don’t give in to negative self-talk or condemnation. Read positive Christian writers like Norman Vincent Peale, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen (yes, Joel Osteen!).

  6. Start at home. If you don’t love your spouse, your kids, your family, friends and neighbors, and serve them like Christ would, then forget about the church. God is practical. Our mission field starts with the person who sleeps with us, then moves to our kids, and so forth. Start there. Be a good spouse and parent. If you can’t do that the rest is just an act anyway. The good news is starting at home is life-sized. Anyone can do it.

  7. Find some new Christian friends and just love them in a simple way. You probably think you are a superior class of Christian and more transformed and so much clearer than all those poor, clueless non-LC Christians, don’t you? Boy, are you in for a shock. You are not near as transformed as you think. In fact, you probably aren’t much transformed at all. I don’t think I experienced any real transformation until recently in my life. Get humble and get some new friends and companions. Let God teach you through them. You might be surprised and probably will be.

  8. Forget about spirituality and high-sounding doctrines, and just live a life of love and service. The fact is the LC is all about being spiritual, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. For example, when the LC thinks of sacrifice they talk about “taking the cross” and the emphasis is all about crushing the self so you can even be more of a spiritual giant than you already think you are. But sacrifice is actually all about doing something for someone else’s sake, for their benefit. In other words, it’s about love. That’s what you should focus on.

    High-sounding doctrines can also make you think you are very spiritual, because you can see… The Vision. Don’t kid yourself. The general parameters of the LC vision are more or less correct. Yes, God is perfecting a people for his glory. But all the hoo-hah about The New Jerusalem is mostly just overkill and bling. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And when you really start caring about people you begin to lose interest in detailed studies of The New Jerusalem and that kind of thing because they are often a kind of spiritual masturbation. (Did he really say that?! Yes, I did.)

  9. Forgive and move on. Don’t hold grudges and don’t let past LC offenses steal your joy. Shake the dust off your feet. There is too much to live for to be bound to the past. Pray for your old friends in the LC.

  10. Pray. See step one. Keeping praying. Pray all the time. Pray about everything. You will be amazed to find out how much God truly cares about you and is on your side.

Stay positive and full of faith. I hope and pray you will find peace, joy and purpose in your post-LC life like you never dreamed of. With God's help I know you will.

"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

I've been lurking in this forum (including the previous one on bereans) for more than two years I'd have to say I'd probably still be in the local churches if it were not for you all. I know it may seem like the posts you're writing are falling on deaf ears, but I'm sure there are many other lurkers out there like me. So please keep posting!

I'm sure there are many in the local churches that know things aren't quite right but still cannot leave. I think I was one of them and I can say the reason it took so long for me to leave was because I bought into the narrative of other christian groups and churches being degraded and spiritually superficial. This was definitely the biggest hurdle for me to overcome.

Eventually, I came to realize that I had to see for myself if this attitude was warranted. And after visiting many churches in our area with an open mind and reading other christian authors recommended in the forum I could no longer justify the spiritual pride we held in the LC. My wife and I are now meeting in a charismatic church that is humble and receiving towards all christians. Although there were some hurdles along the way we now are really loving our new church life, and so thankful to God for opening our eyes and for bringing us out of the LC.

To some extent I can even say I feel angry at Witness Lee for having deceived so many dear believers and myself for having bought into the lie for so long-- but that's probably for another thread.

So my input would be to challenge those on the fence of staying or leaving the LC to just go try out other churches and see for yourself! Personally I found charismatic churches to work the best for my wife and I because there tend to be more unabashed crazy jesus lovers there (at the church we now go to, members would regularly stay and pray for one another for up to an hour even after the meeting was over!) and many there were influenced by Andrew Murray / Watchman Nee and we weren't ready to compromise on tripartite man teaching and emphasis of the human spirit .

But mostly, thank you everyone for posting here!
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

bearbear,

Thanks for the encouragement. It does seem that we are speaking to the wind sometimes.

My journey was quite different (you can read some about it in my "blog"), and charismatic was my pre-LRC group but is not where I went afterward. It is interesting how so many factors take us in divergent directions yet still within the family of faith.

I do have one question. Your comment near the end concerning Andrew Murray and Watchman Nee was unclear. You said "we weren't ready to compromise on tripartite man teaching and emphasis of the human spirit." Are you saying that you were wanting to retain that teaching or avoid it? Not being "ready to compromise" could go either way depending on your initial position.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Meant to say retain it, but compromise was probably too strong of a word.

One of my wife's complaints about one of the churches we met in before settling on the charismatic one was that they never mentioned the human spirit. I couldn't really blame her since we've been in the LC so long that even I had to admit I was a little uncomfortable even though I told her it wasn't a problem for me because I know that praying and having a real relationship of God is more important than insisting on and verbalizing the 'science' behind it over and over again.

So it was more of an added 'plus' than a requirement.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Adapting to a non-LC church

I wanted to go on to talk about finding a new church after leaving the LC. I intentionally didn’t mention church much in my first post. The fact is, the view of the church is distorted in the LC, and in so doing the believer’s relationship to it is distorted as well.

The LC makes the believer’s involvement with the building of the church a matter of prime importance. But the Bible does not make this emphasis. In fact, Jesus himself barely mentioned the church. When the Bible does mention church-building, it is usually with the thought that God is doing the building, not us.

If you really go back and view the overall thought of the NT, especially the ministry of Jesus, you see that two main matters are stressed--first, our devotion and service to God, and second, our attitude and actions toward other people. Jesus focused on a holy life toward God and people. (Again, love God and love people.) But he barely mentioned the church as a thing or goal in and of itself.

This is not to say the church is not important, just that if you are supposedly taking care of the church while suing the pants off any other believer you please it’s clear you are way off the rails of what the NT is about. History and experience show that overemphasis on the church leads naturally to overemphasis and a defensive, even aggressive, posture about your particular church. This is precisely the error of the LC.

I think this is the reason Jesus did not talk about the church much, because to him the point is God and people, not God and some ideal institution.

Still, the Bible does reveal the church, so what is it about? The church is simply wherever believers are gathered in the Lord’s name. The church is all the believers through history. It’s also all the believers alive today. It’s also all the believers in the USA, and all of them in your city. And when thirty believers gather for worship and teaching in a rented storefront, that’s the church, too. None of us have the right or wisdom to look at a group of believers meeting and say they are not the church.

The church is a place where believers encourage and support each other, and grow together. It’s also a place where outsiders can observe these believers and their relationship with God. So in a sense, churches are ministry stations, that is of Jesus’ ministry. They do not exist for themselves, but for the sake of others, both believers and non-believers. And they come in all shapes and sizes.

After you leave the LC and are searching for a new church home, here are some things to think about:
  1. Expect all levels of devotion. You'll meet some very devoted Christians in your new church, and you'll meet some that rarely read the Bible. You'll hear about affairs and divorces and guys that go to Hooters on business lunches. In short, it will probably be the church in Corinth. Guess what? Corinth was still a church. Learn to operate under the big tent of the whole church. You really don't have a choice, unless you want to start another superstar exclusive church that tries to run off everyone who is not 100%, like the LC did. But then where would you be? Yep, right back where you started.

  2. Don’t expect the emphasis on The Church that you saw in the LC. Evangelical Christianity is called that for a reason. The emphasis there is on outreach and being a testimony. This is very healthy. Don’t expect to convert anyone to the Nee/Lee view of it all being about producing the Bride. Let God worry about the Bride and you worry about loving and serving people who need Jesus.

    And don’t be bothered if you find that churches emphasize particular works, like overseas mission work, etc. As long as they don’t make participation in such work a requirement of membership you shouldn’t have much to worry about. But don’t expect their emphasis to be The Building of the Church. For one thing, in evangelical circles these days this is looked upon as being inward-looking and self-centered. And the fact is, it is.

  3. Don’t expect the emphasis on spirituality you saw in the LC. By that I mean don’t start talking about things like “the Triune God in the tripartite man” and expect people to go “Ooooo, wow!” Rather, if you do that expect them to start backing away from you and saying, “Okeee, time to go.”

    Expect God to be presented as more personal and everyday. Experienced pastors aren’t stupid. They know that high-falutin’ spirituality sounds pretentious and makes new people uncomfortable. Expect things to be understated and referred to in everyday terms. You will hear more about “changed lives” than you will about “being infused with the divine nature.” Don’t let that bother you. God is working regardless of how it’s referred to.

  4. Don’t be bothered by the lack of “popcorn” testimonies. Despite the LC’s oft-stated belief that such a thing is necessary for the church to be built, the fact is, it isn’t. An LCer posted on the other forum that the church could not be built in “Christianity” because the “members of the Body” were not allowed to function there. By “functioning” he meant hopping up and saying something in a meeting, usually just regurgitating something that was taught. This kind of “functioning,” however, opens the door to all kinds of problems in large gatherings with many guests. We could argue all day whether it’s tenable, but what’s not arguable is that such a thing is required for legitimate churchhood. It isn’t. Expect to be free to share in Bible studies, Sunday schools, small groups and so forth. Don’t expect it, or worry about it, in larger meetings.

  5. Don’t expect people to talk about the message after the service. It just doesn’t happen much. People listen and take in the message seriously, but they rarely discuss it in depth afterwards. Don’t expect a lot of “I really enjoyed….” Rather, expect “How are the kids doing?” and more typical conversation. It’s just the way it is. Learn to be human and get to know your new friends.

    Also, don't expect everyone you don't know to look you in the eye and say "Praise the Lord!" Expect people to have the more typical behavior of not acting like they know you when they don't. It doesn't mean they don't love you, it just means they are normal. Just be friendly yourself and before long people will be greeting you, though probably not with a "Praise the Lord!" Get over it.

  6. Don’t expect your new pastor to expect you to get permission from him for every little thing. If you want to see a totally quizzical look, just ask your new pastor if it’s okay to go on vacation and miss couple of weekends of meetings. In short, don’t expect him to lord it over you the way LC elders did.

    If you want to start a work or ministry, I’m sure they will be supportive of it, though they may not want to work it into the Sunday morning rotation. This one messed with me for a long time. I was just uncomfortable “doing my own thing.” Yet, the only alternative was to get the church leaders fully onboard with it. (Not to mention to take time to even talk about it.) Finally, I realized they did not expect every legitimate work to be under the umbrella of their approval or notice. If I felt to start something, it was okay with them, but they couldn’t always dedicate church resources to it.

    This is actually quite liberating, not to mention normal. But it is very different from the way things are done in the LC. Which makes one wonder how LCers can make the claim that it's in "Christianity" where the members are suppressed. Such logic is just way over my head.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Man it's been a long time since I've posted anything here...

Igzy, thanks for posting all this. These are all fantastic tips. Hopefully people who are considering leaving the LC can read these and be encouraged.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

I, too, want to thank Igzy for this thread with helpful points. Prayer for sure is the best help. I have found praying with other Christians is very helpful also in getting into a normal Christian walk. It is amazing how many Christians I have found do pray over scripture. They also are willing to pray with verses. They don't refer to it as "pray-reading" of course but they do value the Word and realize what a blessing it is to pray scripture back to the Lord in agreement with His excellent purpose.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Just want to bump this up in case new readers would like to see it.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Great idea Igzy!!
From my experience:

If you choose to go to church, visit many as there are many flavors.

Do not be surprised or disappointed when you hear people address the Father in their prayers and close with " In the Name of Jesus". Few people start their prayers with "Lord" or " Lord Jesus". ( I do. But I also address our Heavenly Abba Fathe depending on my supplication and meditation. For guidance, I address the Holy Spirit. Same GOD. ONE GOD.)

There is a LOT of emphasis in Tithings and Offerings. < caution>. Be led by he Spirit...not by man.

Do not be surprised when you realize "praying in the Spirit" means praying in tongues.

Any question you have about a bible topic can be found on the web.

Above all, develop a deeper, intimate relationship with the Lord through personal prayer ( being honest) and through His Word.

Laugh a lot, Love a lot. Remember God has plans for you ( and me) to succeed and prosper. He will never, ever leave us or forsake us. Listen closely to His Voice.

Blessings,

Carol G
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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I don't think there's a one size fits all when coming out of the local church. It's a very hard process, at least for some, and highly individual. It's something we have to work out for ourselves. No one can do it for us. Some have end up in mental health care over it. It drove them crazy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I don't think there's a one size fits all when coming out of the local church. It's a very hard process, at least for some, and highly individual. It's something we have to work out for ourselves. No one can do it for us. Some have end up in mental health care over it. It drove them crazy.
Prayer fits all, Harold. Prayer fits all. There is no doubt about that.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #12
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Prayer fits all, Harold. Prayer fits all. There is no doubt about that.
....and all God's people said "Amen!"
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Prayer fits all, Harold. Prayer fits all. There is no doubt about that.
Sometimes we can feel so lost in despair.

I was born here and I'll die here
Against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin'
But I'm standin' still

Every nerve in my body
Is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was
I came here to get away from

Don't even hear
The murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet
But it's gettin' there

BOB DYLAN - NOT DARK YET LYRICS
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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If you feel lost and in despair Harold, take solace in the Psalms. They are very comforting. Dylan's words are not. They are depressing. That is why he escaped by getting stoned...and wanted everyone to just get stoned.

Been there...done that.

There is no Peace like God's inner peace.

There is no Love like God's Love. GOD IS LOVE.

There is no presence like being in God's Presence for iN His Presence iS the FULLNESS of Joy.

Peace out. :-)

Carol G


Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Sometimes we can feel so lost in despair.

I was born here and I'll die here
Against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin'
But I'm standin' still

Every nerve in my body
Is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was
I came here to get away from

Don't even hear
The murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet
But it's gettin' there

BOB DYLAN - NOT DARK YET LYRICS
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
If you feel lost and in despair Harold, take solace in the Psalms. They are very comforting. Dylan's words are not. They are depressing. That is why he escaped by getting stoned...and wanted everyone to just get stoned.

Been there...done that.

There is no Peace like God's inner peace.

There is no Love like God's Love. GOD IS LOVE.

There is no presence like being in God's Presence for iN His Presence iS the FULLNESS of Joy.

Peace out. :-)

Carol G
Thanks Carol. You are a sweetheart.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Trying to figure things out on your own just leaves you in a maze of twisty passages, all alike*.

Prayer gets you through.


*Extra credit if you know where that phrase is from.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:49 AM   #17
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Trying to figure things out on your own just leaves you in a maze of twisty passages, all alike*.

*Extra credit if you know where that phrase is from.
Zork lives.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #18
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Zork lives.
Give the poster a PDP-10 CRT monochrome monitor! Zork it is!

(But, actually the original game to use the phrase was "Colossal Cave Adventure," upon which Zork was based.)
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #19
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Trying to figure things out on your own just leaves you in a maze of twisty passages, all alike*.

Prayer gets you through.
But this disenfranchises those that have to give up on everything religious to get clear of the maze of the local church.

I know brothers/sisters that had to let go of everything related to the LC, even prayer, to clear out all the local churchisms in them.

No generalizations work across the board, for everyone that leaves the LC.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:31 AM   #20
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But this disenfranchises those that have to give up on everything religious to get clear of the maze of the local church.

I know brothers/sisters that had to let go of everything related to the LC, even prayer, to clear out all the local churchisms in them.

No generalizations work across the board, for everyone that leaves the LC.
Prayer is not religious. Prayer is dialogue with God. Are you saying in order to leave the LC some have to stop talking to God. I don't believe it.

Now, some do stop talking to God, but I don't think they have to. It's just an unfortunate sidetrack they take. But you have to pick prayer up again. You won't truly be free of the LC until you start praying intensely about it.

You keep talking about being "bent" by your experience in the LC. You always sound very negative about it. You don't sound victorious. My experience is negative bending was once true, but now any "bending" is just the curve in my spiritual muscles the Lord has given me by fighting through with prayer, by his grace. I feel rather than being bent negatively by the experience, I'm now a better person for it. But that's the Lord's doing and it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't prayed desperately about things.

So please don't suggest that some people can truly overcome the LC without prayer. It ain't gonna happen. It's bad advice.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:41 AM   #21
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Another point is: Why would you ever advise anyone to not pray? Or that not praying is a good way to better themselves? That is just non-Christian. This board is a Christian board.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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I know brothers/sisters that had to let go of everything related to the LC, even prayer, to clear out all the local churchisms in them.
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Another point is: Why would you ever advise anyone to not pray? Or that not praying is a good way to better themselves? That is just non-Christian. This board is a Christian board.
What former members must give up is not prayer but our former mechanisms, which we thought were prayer.

One poster Toledo once joked publicly years ago that we prayed in 6.7.6.7 meter. Of course that brought more than a few laughs, but he was right. Our prayer had become showy. It had less to do with God, than it did with the hearers. It had become little different than the public displays which the hypocritical Pharisees became famous for. Thus the Lord told the disciples to "pray to their heavenly Father in secret." (Matt 6.5-6)

This kind of private prayer to our heavenly Father is most needed by those of us who have exited the program. We need to learn how to ask the Father, and speak to Him honestly and plainly, without the expectation of a single "Amen" from the audience.

Brother awareness, I encourage you to voice all your LC complaints to your real Father. Be honest and tell Him how you really feel about things that happened. Be honest in secret and He will reward you in secret. Tell Him how you are still affected by that program now. You are not alone, we all are learning to do this. "Cast all your cares upon Him, because He Himself cares for you." (I Peter 5.7)
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:24 AM   #23
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Brother awareness, I encourage you to voice all your LC complaints to your real Father. Be honest and tell Him how you really feel about things that happened. Be honest in secret and He will reward you in secret. Tell Him how you are still affected by that program now. You are not alone, we all are learning to do this. "Cast all your cares upon Him, because He Himself cares for you." (I Peter 5.7)
Yes. What the "good cop" said.

Signed, Bad Cop.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #24
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Yes. What the "good cop" said.

Signed, Bad Cop.
LOL - thanks for the humor.

And for the record, I've never told anyone not to pray. I just know ex-LCers that had to let go of everything to get LCisms out of them. And for the record also, they didn't give up prayers for good.

One of them, however, a former elder in the LC, is now praying to The Great Spirit, as he now considers himself to be an American Indian Shaman. Still praying tho. And casting out evil spirits. He did so at my house in Ft. Lauderdale when he came to visit. He said my son's bedroom, the one that died, had evil spirits in it. So he cleaned them out. I said thanks, even tho I thought he was on the crazy side. He has a very sweet and loving heart. I've known him since the second grade.

Not everyone that comes out of the LC are the same.

I spoke to a brother this morning, an ex-LCer, that said he couldn't make it thru the day without his Jesus and Buddha.

As far as I know, Buddhism is popular among ex-LCers. Seems it's possible to be both a Christian and a Buddhist at the same time.

Different strokes ....
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:12 PM   #25
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Harold,
Never forget Buddha is in the grave. Our Lord Jesus is NOT! He is not only resurrected and sitting at the Right Hand of the Father, but HIS SPIRIT is living inside of us. I can not speak for anyone else but the Living Word of God is rooted and grounded in me.

Secondly, if you truly believe the Word of God is True, then you must believe the Lord Jesus is the ONLY Path to GOD. There is no other name under heaven given among men that saves and delivers us. Jesus IS the WAY. He is the TRUTH and He is the LIFE.

No person can get close to God, no person can come to the Father but by Him. Jesus came that we would have Life and have LIFE in abundance.

As for the brother who now considers himself an American Indian Shaman, you know very well I knew him in San Diego and lived with him & his wife in Tempe.

He prays to that Great Spirit because the Great Spirit is still living inside of him. God's promise is He will never leave us or forsake us and no one can snatch us out of the Father's Hand. God still loves him very much. Sooner or later, the Great Spirit will remind him Jesus is King of kings and LORD of lords and that there is but ONE GOD.

Peace up and Peace out. :-)

Carol G

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LOL - thanks for the humor.

And for the record, I've never told anyone not to pray. I just know ex-LCers that had to let go of everything to get LCisms out of them. And for the record also, they didn't give up prayers for good.

One of them, however, a former elder in the LC, is now praying to The Great Spirit, as he now considers himself to be an American Indian Shaman. Still praying tho. And casting out evil spirits. He did so at my house in Ft. Lauderdale when he came to visit. He said my son's bedroom, the one that died, had evil spirits in it. So he cleaned them out. I said thanks, even tho I thought he was on the crazy side. He has a very sweet and loving heart. I've known him since the second grade.

Not everyone that comes out of the LC are the same.

I spoke to a brother this morning, an ex-LCer, that said he couldn't make it thru the day without his Jesus and Buddha.

As far as I know, Buddhism is popular among ex-LCers. Seems it's possible to be both a Christian and a Buddhist at the same time.

Different strokes ....
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:15 PM   #26
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As for the brother who now considers himself an American Indian Shaman, you know very well I knew him in San Diego and lived with him & his wife in Tempe.

He prays to that Great Spirit because the Great Spirit is still living inside of him.
Yes, we both know him and love him.

BTW, his wife in the church died and he remarried. He married a full-blooded Mohawk Indian girl, who hates Christianity for what they did to her ancestors. I can hardly blame her. Christians back then failed big time to love their neighbors.

Ben Franklin once remarked : "I hate these Christians who go around with a Bible in one hand and a hatchet for scalping Indians in the other."
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #27
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Harold,
You ought to remember many bible thumping people are religious people. They are not Spirit filled people who have an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus.

A religious person who can quote the bible does not mean they are in the Kingdom of God.

What those people did to the Indians did not -KNOW- the Lord nor did they have God's Love in them.

As Lee's -vision- of "God's economy" permeated the sheeple of the LSM, they lost their first and true Love for the Truth, for the Word of God, for Jesus, for Abba Father, for His Spirit, for people.

Jesus veered away from the religious Sadducees and Pharisees who purported to know the OT and were always trying to trick Him. The Man Who came to save and deliver people from the darkness of this world was crucified by the RELIGIOUS!!!! The spirit of the same religious people who crucified Jesus murdered the Indians. The Indians were/are very special to God because of their stewardship in taking care of God's earth.

Jesus, don't forget did not use the same formula as He drew people to Himself.

Satan's ploy is to distort the Truth and the Love God has for ALL people and all creation.

Think of how many people's lives have been shattered by Lee's misconstrued teachings of the Holy Scriptures!!! Many who once loved God and His Word, who were filled with Hope and Joy for their lives do not want to have anything to do with God. Or they turn to other gods..Buddha, Hindu etc...

There are plenty of warnings from God what will happen to people who "in His Name" committed atrocities against His creation..against mankind, against His children and had no remorse, no shame, no regrets, no repentant heart.

Blessings and Peace,

Carol

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Yes, we both know him and love him.

BTW, his wife in the church died and he remarried. He married a full-blooded Mohawk Indian girl, who hates Christianity for what they did to her ancestors. I can hardly blame her. Christians back then failed big time to love their neighbors.

Ben Franklin once remarked : "I hate these Christians who go around with a Bible in one hand and a hatchet for scalping Indians in the other."
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #28
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....I fellowship and work with a brother who is half Cree - both he and his wife (herself also Cree) came to the Lord later in life, but the Lord has done some miraculous work in and through them both. They have incredible testimonies, and both are leading members in their church group (they belong to a Pentecostal assembly).

...Just saying, the Lord has His people everywhere, and He calls them from "every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation". What a testimony that is to the Truth of the Living Word, and the love of our God.

Ray
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:55 AM   #29
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Another point is: Why would you ever advise anyone to not pray? Or that not praying is a good way to better themselves? That is just non-Christian. This board is a Christian board.
A brief history. I left the LCs and went back to "christianity". Why? Because we kept saying we were "one" with all believers in Christ, and were hermetically sealed "on the ground" and I got tired of looking at the same faces every day. I wanted to meet all those christians out there we were supposed to be "one" with.

I went to the Podunk Community Church for a number years, and that also became rote, formulaic, and boring; and after 9/11 the pastor got very bloodthirsty. Wanted to invade all the Muslim lands and christianize them. I thought he was nuts. I just got tired of it all. Bearing in love all these hard-right people dominating the gatherings (I am quite liberal). The meetings stopped being about Jesus and peace and love and freedom and sanctification. So I just stopped going.

Couple of years passed. Became agnostic. Had a lot of real good conversations with my Buddhist cousin. Went to a Native American sweat-lodge ceremony when my best friend died. Just tried to be a good person (and failed, miserably, natch). Tried to be open to everyone.

Eventually, I began to hear that "still, small, voice" and eventually turned, and was blessed incredibly as I began to reconsider the Lord Jesus Christ. It is like I met Jesus again, only for the first time. I love where Jesus said to Peter, "Peter, you are going to bail on Me. You'll repeatedly deny Me. But I am praying for you, Peter, and you will eventually turn and be quite useful to My Father; when you come back you will strengthen and encourage the brothers".

My point is that everyone has a journey, and it may be filled with all sorts of seemingly strange and non-christian things. So, yes, this board may be a Christian board, but I remind that it is, as the first page says, "A safe, open place..."

It is a safe and open place not only FOR Christians, but it is safe and open place FROM Christians, as well. Every one should feel safe, and be allowed to be open. I long for the day when card-carrying Lee-ites can feel respected presenting their ideas to ex-LC'ers. Respect is so important: how can you have love if you don't have respect?

"And the lion and the lamb will sit down together, and the little boy will reach into the serpent's nest..."

Peace and all that, from a fellow traveller.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:26 AM   #30
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My point is that everyone has a journey, and it may be filled with all sorts of seemingly strange and non-christian things. So, yes, this board may be a Christian board, but I remind that it is, as the first page says, "A safe, open place..."

It is a safe and open place not only FOR Christians, but it is safe and open place FROM Christians, as well. Every one should feel safe, and be allowed to be open. I long for the day when card-carrying Lee-ites can feel respected presenting their ideas to ex-LC'ers. Respect is so important: how can you have love if you don't have respect?
I appreciate the reminder, aron. And I understand where you are coming from.

At the same time, my point is to actually help people. I never considered that someone might be threatened by suggesting they need to pray. And honestly I'm still not convinced anyone was threatened by my original posts.

My issue is with someone implying they got back to God but didn't need prayer. That's like saying I recovered from illness, but I did it without breathing. It just doesn't make sense.

Now, I know a lot of us have had round-about journeys. I did, too. But eventually the prodigal son went back to the Father. And the way we go back to the Father is prayer.

Now, I know the term "prayer" has a lot of connotations and there is a lot of baggage about it. It sounds "religious." So use the term you like--talking, communion, whatever. But don't imply that someone can get back to God without engaging in relationship with God. God is not a force or vague influence. He's a person. Persons require relationships, relationships require communication, and spiritual communication is prayer. There is just no getting around it, and anything else is bad advice, in my book. Because in the end, after being in the maze of twisty passages, all alike, it's the only thing that actually worked for me. Everything else was dependent on that.


Please also note from the mission statement that it is not the mission of this board to question basic items of the Christian faith. I would call prayer basic. Now, we can discuss prayer. But someone seriously suggesting we don't need it is moving toward that line where he is questioning the foundation.


I'm not going to beat anyone over the head about it, though. Except Harold. He's been around a long time and should know better.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:56 AM   #31
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I went to the Podunk Community Church for a number years, and that also became rote, formulaic, and boring
I did not include the reference to the writer — not because he needs shielding, but because I am addressing this as a general comment of our post-LRC condition.

After 25 years post-LRC, I have begun to discover that rote, formula, and boring are generally a problem with the practitioner, not the practice. I do not say this as an accusation of those of us beyond the LRC wasteland. I say it as a sign that we are not as far removed from the LRC wasteland as we think.

We have spent a lot of ink (well, electrons) harping on how the BBs and other leaders are so certain what is the "taste" of the body. (Tastes like chicken . . . mmm, gooooood) But having left that, and while seeing through their attempts to force a "taste" upon the members, we still learned a lot of tastes.

Up to a year ago, I generally could not stand most diet soft drinks. But after spending a few months working on losing weight, I have acquired a taste for them. The regular ones, while definitely tasting better in some ways, are too sweet for me now. But it did not happen over night. First, I had to simply swear off of soft drinks. Then I began to have other things sweetened with artificial sweeteners (especially Splenda). Arizona iced tea, Snapple. Then one day someone put a Diet Dr Pepper in my hand. I wasn't looking. Just started drinking. Wasn't bad. Didn't set off any warnings.

Unfortunately, what we think is important about our "religious," spiritual, church, etc., experiences is less tangible. It is not based on simply what we like. It is also based on what we think ought to be. And we are still convinced that what ought to be cannot be done over and over. It needs to have "something deep down inside" that we can't describe or define.

Maybe indigestion.

Not entirely facetious on that one. Feelings. Excitement. And the same-ole same-ole is not exciting. It doesn't bring on feelings. My dad is actually a little conflicted in some ways. He thinks a lot of what he hears is baloney. But he can't figure out where else to get that feeling. He thinks it is important.

So we have this idea that less feeling is bad. And the way that other churches "do" it just doesn't produce that feeling. So we label it as boring.

But what are we trying to get out of it? (Or put into it?) Something that generates feelings? Something that doesn't run afoul of one or more of those old "that's just religion" lines from the LRC?

Maybe the problem is not the practice. The formula. The "rote-ness." It is the insistence that it generate "that feeling" or it is deficient.

So where in the Bible does it say that meeting together is supposed to generate a certain kind of feeling? Where does it suggest that everything has to be "short, fresh, and real" or it is "dead"?

I am beginning to learn that the form of the meeting ls less important than the hearts of the participants. Maybe a particular form is distracting to you. You many find that it is difficult to turn off the wanderings in your mind and focus on Christ. But what about the others? They may find themselves in the same condition if they joined you in your favorite form.

I have preferences. And right now, I am not getting all of my preferences fulfilled. But I do not have any sense that the others there are just dead or deficient because they don't follow my favorite forms. And neither am I. I choose to participate. To focus on the main thing in whatever way it is being put before me.

And the main thing is not excitement. It is not "all can prophesy." It is not a capella, piano and organ, acoustic guitars, or a punk-rock band. It is not a choir or no choir. It is not solos or no solos. It is not passing a plate or a slot in the wall. It is not separate crackers and little cups passed out to everyone or a single loaf and a single cup passed around. It is not folding chairs arranged as you like it, or pews, or stadium seating. It is not responsive readings or no responsive readings.

The main thing is Christ. We all do funny things. But we don't care if you really like how we do it, or don't like it. We don't care if you put anything in the plate or sign-up to help with the children. The only thing we care about is that you meet and come to know Jesus Christ. (Something like that is said every week at one church I have been attending recently.)
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:51 AM   #32
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We have spent a lot of ink (well, electrons) .....
Up to a year ago, I generally could not stand most diet soft drinks. But after spending a few months working on the, I acquired a taste....



So we have this idea that less feeling is bad. And the way that other churches "do" it just doesn't produce that feeling. So we label it as boring.

I have preferences. And right now, I am not getting all of my preferences fulfilled.

The main thing is Christ. We all do funny things. But we don't care if you really like how we do it, or don't like it. ...The only thing we care about is that you meet and come to know Jesus Christ.
Mike, I really enjoyed reading your post. I got a kick out of some of the things you wrote. Your sense of humor came through and made me chuckle. :-D

Btw, I graduated from soft drinks to iced teas. (I personally like Wendy's Berry Iced Tea). I am now juicing fresh veggies and fruits. Not only did I have to acquire a taste for it..not hard once you know how much fruit to add to it, but my eyes and mind had to adjust seeing green juice!!! <big grin>.

What I want to reinforce from your post is what boils down is our relationship with Christ Jesus, the Word of God Who became flesh to set us captives free.

Our intimate relationship with Him truly conquers boredom.

A few years ago, I made my rounds trying to fit in a "church". I had to peel off, shed off the old LC wineskin. Some things I liked, some things I did not. But when I discovered the facets of the Lord Jesus, I had never considered, I got excited as all get out. I shared many of my discoveries here and perhaps I came across overbearing. That was never my intention so I apologize if I did.

As time moved on, I became hungrier for the deeper things of the Lord. My personal relationship with Him was intensifying. The organized church however seems to rotate the same messages over and over. We experienced it in the LC and I experienced it in the other congregations I have attended.

I will say this about the San Diego church I was with. Between 1975 and 1977, we had mini conferences on certain topics. 2 of those conferences made an impact on me. They were on the Blood of Jesus and on church history. But other ministries have brought to Light aspects of the Lord Lee's ministry never touched!! In any case, every "ministry" has given me revelation and insight...to stay away from them. LOL... Just kidding. I am thankful for the guidance that has led me to have a deeper walk with God.

Thus as I continue in my journey while on this earth, I have learned to study and dig deep while developing a closer relationship with the Lord.

This is something the organized church cannot do for us. Sometimes I am blessed to be around like minded people in Christ, or am privileged to be used by God to minister to young "green horns" as one friend of mine refers himself or others like him. Too funny.

We are all here on a mission. And when our mission is accomplished, we will return to where we came from. Thanks for reading my posts.

Abundant blessings everyone!!!

Carol G
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #33
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It's time for me to post a testimony about how much I like good old water, preferably filtered and chilled, and a squeeze of lemon ... but just didn't have the time. Did you know that cold water has negative calories?
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:43 AM   #34
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After 25 years post-LRC, I have begun to discover that rote, formula, and boring are generally a problem with the practitioner, not the practice. I do not say this as an accusation of those of us beyond the LRC wasteland. I say it as a sign that we are not as far removed from the LRC wasteland as we think.
Agreed. I eventually went back to Podunk Church, and it was different because I was different. My friends were still there, and greeted me. The pastor asked me to pray over the offering plate. Etc. But I was different. I was like Bilbo Baggins after going and fighting with Smaug. I was back in the Shire, but I was different. Not so easily bored or impatient with what everybody else is doing.

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The main thing is Christ. We all do funny things. But we don't care if you really like how we do it, or don't like it. We don't care if you put anything in the plate or sign-up to help with the children. The only thing we care about is that you meet and come to know Jesus Christ. (Something like that is said every week at one church I have been attending recently.)
Agreed, completely. If we all do 'funny things', I am probably the funniest. So my job is to be nice to all the rest, and Jesus promises that the Father will be merciful to me also.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #35
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Please also note from the mission statement that it is not the mission of this board to question basic items of the Christian faith. I would call prayer basic. Now, we can discuss prayer. But someone seriously suggesting we don't need it is moving toward that line where he is questioning the foundation.


I'm not going to beat anyone over the head about it, though. Except Harold.
Igzy chastises those he loves. And right now he's loving me more than all the rest of you -- nanny-nanny-boo-boo ... Igzy to Harold ->

But we're not discussing the merits of prayer. We talking about leaving the local church while keeping your sanity, and the lengths some have had to go to to get mentally free from the grip of the local church.

This is a very serious matter. Leaving the local church isn't easy. And it has driven some insane.

So if during the deprogramming stage of coming out, some have to let go of everything related to the local church, including God, Jesus, the Bible and prayer, so be it.

But once the deprogramming is over, then these things can come back to us.

When talking about the elder who now considers himself an Indian shaman, Carol brought up a valid point. She said God will never forsake us.

I remember it well. In those days I was going around calling God deaf, dumb, and mute (cuz all my conversations with God was a monologue.)

I was sitting in a lawn chair in my front yard reading a book. And I stopped to contemplate something I read and, IT HAPPENED.

God came to me. It was like a flood of paradise had filled me. Then I realized, I think for the very first time, that, it didn't depend upon me, and didn't depend upon my efforts. That it was all in God's hands.

In short, we can let go of God but God doesn't let go of us.

So I talked to the brother again that said he couldn't make it thru his day without Jesus and Buddha. I thought maybe what he said was just hyperbole.

But I was very wrong. Turns out he was as serious as a heart attack ... er, ah, panic attack.

He suffers panic attacks, and is on medical treatment for the condition. But he has found that Buddhist meditation works better than the meds.

To be honest I think the meds for panic attacks become more of a problem than a solution. But I wouldn't tell someone that's prescribed them to stop taking them. And neither would I tell this brother to stop practicing Buddhist meditation. Cuz it's working for him, and helps him to keep his sanity. And it's way less harmful than the meds.

And I can't be critical of whatever it takes to get free of the local church. We're all lucky if we came out sane.

We should stand by our exLCers, no matter what they are going thru, and no matter if it assaults our particular religious sensitivities. In whatever lengths they go thru to get free, let's hope for them that they come out sane.

And in regards the LCD mission statement you should add "The Love of Jesus" to it.

And you should do something about mission statement #8. It's incongruent with the rest of the mission statement, and possibly duplicitous.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:11 PM   #36
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And in regards the LCD mission statement you should add "The Love of Jesus" to it.

And you should do something about mission statement #8. It's incongruent with the rest of the mission statement, and possibly duplicitous.
Thanks for your input, Harold. I appreciate your perspective.

As to the first above, that's a good idea. As to the second, obviously there are degrees to everything, and seeming contradictory values can co-exist if each is held in proper moderation. For someone who is so given to tolerance and understanding, you sure can be black-and-white sometimes.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:27 PM   #37
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Thanks for your input, Harold. I appreciate your perspective.

As to the first above, that's a good idea. As to the second, obviously there are degrees to everything, and seeming contradictory values can co-exist if each is held in proper moderation. For someone who is so given to tolerance and understanding, you sure can be black-and-white sometimes.
Sorry I'm flawed ...

And thanks to you, At least you have a mission statement. That's a good thing. It provides an envelop I can push -
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:30 PM   #38
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It's time for me to post a testimony about how much I like good old water, preferably filtered and chilled, and a squeeze of lemon ... but just didn't have the time. Did you know that cold water has negative calories?

Yum-Yum Ohio!!! I drink a lot of purified water too. I have a reversed osmosis water filtration system under my kitchen sink. I am such a show off aren't I ??
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:07 PM   #39
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Yum-Yum Ohio!!! I drink a lot of purified water too. I have a reversed osmosis water filtration system under my kitchen sink. I am such a show off aren't I ??
No RO for me. I prefer the minerals. Good for your health. Hmmm tasty!

But for those of you folks who live in the desert ... there's bottled water ... yum-yum.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #40
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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I was sitting in a lawn chair in my front yard reading a book. And I stopped to contemplate something I read and, IT HAPPENED.

God came to me. It was like a flood of paradise had filled me. Then I realized, I think for the very first time, that, it didn't depend upon me, and didn't depend upon my efforts. That it was all in God's hands.
Wonderful! These are the times we can never forget!
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #41
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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But we're not discussing the merits of prayer. We talking about leaving the local church while keeping your sanity, and the lengths some have had to go to to get mentally free from the grip of the local church.

This is a very serious matter. Leaving the local church isn't easy. And it has driven some insane.

So if during the deprogramming stage of coming out, some have to let go of everything related to the local church, including God, Jesus, the Bible and prayer, so be it.
This does happen Harold. You are correct. Aron himself just told us for a time he was agnostic. I have heard others tell me the same thing.
It happens to many people leaving the throws of the LC and it happens to people who have been burned by their religious affiliation...Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, JWs etc...

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But once the deprogramming is over, then these things can come back.

In short, we can let go of God but God doesn't let go of us.

So I talked to the brother again that said he couldn't make it thru his day without Jesus and Buddha. I thought maybe what he said was just hyperbole.

I was very wrong.
Harold and all....Aside from praying and meditating on the scriptures, I speak affirmations. I keep a journal and here is an example of some of the affirmations I have penned:

I welcome and receive the Goodness of my Creator. Surely His Goodness and Mercy Follows me all the days of my life. Thank You for Your Goodness and Mercy that follows me all the days of my life Lord Jesus.

" I walk in the Favor of God. Everywhere I go, I am blessed and highly favored for I am the daughter of the King. I am a king and priest unto the Most High God. To You be the Glory and Praise El-Shaddai."

"No weapon formed against me will prevail, prosper or succeed in the Mighty Name of Jesus."

" I free my mind from mental blockages."

" I release the spirit of fear, anxiety, and stress that grips my mind."

" I have Faith in God. And through Christ by the POWER of His Holy Spirit working in me, I can do all things".

" He gives me Wisdom, Insight, Favor and the ability to do what I cannot do."

" I have the Mind of Christ".

" I release all pain, hurt bitterness and anger. I forgive those who have trespassed against me. I forgive those who stole my joy".

" God is Faithful to restore the joy of my salvation, the joy of my soul. He restores my soul. Your Spirit O Lord leads me in the path of Righteousness. Surely God's Goodness and everlasting Mercy follows
me all the days of my life."

"I am attracted to the Light of God, my Creator. I am attracted to the Energy of the Holy Spirit of God".

" The Spirit of God frees my mind. The Word of God frees my mind. The Word of God is Living and operating in me. The Word of God energizes me. The Spirit of God empowers me."

" I am ALIVE. I am free from sin and free from bondage".

"I mind the things of the Spirit. For to be spiritually minded is Life and Peace."

And there you have some of my unorthodox but "Life Giving" affirmations.

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And I can't be critical of whatever it takes to get free of the local church. We're all lucky if we came out sane.

We should stand by our exLCers, no matter what they are going thru,
Yes. They are wounded and need God"s Love and His Healing Touch.

Blessings to all.
Carol G

P.S. What am I still doing here ??? I should be long gone by now!!!!!
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:45 AM   #42
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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*

"No weapon formed against me will prevail, prosper or succeed in the Mighty Name of Jesus."

*
I liked this one, especially. I have found in my experience that many weapons formed against me have done quite well, actually. I am often a toy to the dark forces, a proverbial yo-yo on their string.

But the "you" in Isaiah 54's "No weapon formed against you" is not fulfilled with aron, or cmw, or the king of Sweden. The promise is addressed to, and fulfilled by, the anointed One of God's choosing. And for us professing Christians this anointed One is none other than the man Christ Jesus. This Galilean Jew was the one man whom Satan, the enemy of humankind, could not defeat.

Fairly basic theology here, actually. Our blessing as Christians is that vicariously, by faith, we may share in the victory of Jesus Christ, by becoming His defeated foes, and joining in His victory procession. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ we are forgiven, reborn and restored to our Heavenly Father, and begin to experience the reality of that promise of Isaiah 54, among many others.

So when sister Carol declares this statement, it is actually, as Paul said, no longer Carol but rather 'Christ in Carol', who is declaring this victory. She is in Christ and He in her. It is the Word of Christ being declared out of an earthen vessel, and continuing the triumph of Jesus Christ, which was long foretold, and sought for, and fully realized in the Judean desert two millenia ago. And this triumph is now being re-enacted in sister Carol and in many, many others.

Again, nothing very shocking in these notions. It is fairly standard Christian boilerplate, and for a reason; to us Christians it is true. So why couldn't Witness Lee see this with Psalm 1, that the Righteous Man whose works would always prosper was not the psalmist but Christ? Or the real Righteous Man delivered by God in Psalm 34 was not David but rather was David's Son, the coming Christ? I don't know, except that perhaps Lee was in love with something that blinded him from the obvious truth.

My experience on making leaving the LC easier has been this: to see that just because someone repeatedly says the moon is made of Colby cheese, and gets others to agree, it doesn't mean it is so. Once I saw that, their power over me was broken. Once I was able to be as critical of Lee's writings as Lee was with those of David (and other scriptural authors), then I realized that his thoughts and opinions were just like mine: mortal, frail, and fallible. No matter how much they are groomed ("being polished", they call it), and adoringly propped up by his acolytes, the teachings of Lee are just as "fallen" and "natural" as anyone else's.

This, combined with: a)the fact that in order to survive, Lee's ideas must not be questioned, and that b) the realization that his ideas are continually re-packaged and sold for money, it really was quite easy to extricate myself. And I write as one whose mind was for some years quite dominated by the teachings from 'the ministry of this age', who was 'God's oracle on the earth today', etc. etc.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:26 AM   #43
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My experience on making leaving the LC easier has been this: to see that just because someone repeatedly says the moon is made of Colby cheese, and gets others to agree, it doesn't mean it is so. For me, once I saw that, their power over me was broken. Once I was able to be as critical of Lee's writings as Lee was with those of David (and other scriptural authors), then I realized that his thoughts and opinions were just like mine: mortal, frail, and fallible. No matter how much they are groomed (being "polished", they call it), and adoringly propped up by his acolytes, the teachings of Lee are just as "fallen" and "natural" as anyone else's.

This, combined with: a)the fact that in order to survive, Lee's ideas must not be questioned, and that b) the realization that his ideas are continually re-packaged and sold for money, it really was quite easy to extricate myself. And I write as one whose mind was for some years quite dominated by the teachings from 'the ministry of this age', who was 'God's oracle on the earth today', etc. etc.
^^^^^ ^^^^^

Good stuff.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:14 AM   #44
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Reading through this again, I know I am still sometimes confused by what I see and hear in the place where I am currently fellowshipping, I've been going there for about 2 years. I had been looking for a place to be with other believers for months, after being away from the LC based fellowship that I had been in for so many years. I really believe the Lord led me to this particular group after visiting a number of places. I went on line for virtual church services, listened to sermons, listened to the singing. I visited in person. I was trying to hear His voice coming to me through the sharing, etc.

When I visited this particular group where I am now, it seemed to me that the pastor had a level of personal experience and knowledge of the Word. I was attracted. But I was also bothered by the hugeness of the congregation (hundreds - thousands even - across multiple services on Sunday), the "pictures of Jesus," the singing solos, the applause, the joke telling. This last week we started talking about Christmas, multiple Christmas trees were put up all over inside the building, and in the children's meeting for the 3 year olds, the worship leader started out by asking all the children "who has a Christmas tree in their house? Who has two? Who has three?" I get so distracted by this - it distresses me. (Last year I basically stayed away from the meetings during the month of December)

Years ago, probably during my first year in the LC, I read the book The Two Babylons, http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/ and it made a big impression on me. Part of that book deals with things pertaining to Christmas. Our kids were babies at that point, so it was easy to forgo the tree, etc. Later on when the kids were in grade school, we did "celebrate Christmas" - we put up a tree on Dec 23 or 24, bought presents, drove around to look at the lights, etc. One of my thoughts around this was so that the kids did not feel freakish or strange when it came time to go back to school in January. We had enough things going on in our lives that were different from even mainstream Christians. Our kids had fun and presents that they could talk about with their little friends when they went back to school after the break. Compromise?

I sort of envy the simplicity that I see in my new Christian friends - to them it's Jesus' birthday, and there isn't a difference between that and a tree, and Merry Christmas, and all that goes with the season (except Santa Claus, maybe, but even then some are ok with Saint Nicholas) How do you all approach this? Can you say "Christmas?" Seriously, I can hardly say the word!

It's hard to post because there are so many sides to this all at once. I hope someone can relate even a little to what I have tried to express.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #45
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Hi Redeemed,
Thanks for coming on the forum and posting again.

I think some of what you are addressing here is a matter of culture. In the Local Church we were constantly being told that the church should not be influenced or affected by the surrounding culture (unless it was the Chinese culture, and then it was ok). The simple fact is that the Bible is filled with human culture. God's people have always interacted with the culture around them. God's people have always come from, been chosen from the culture around them. From Abraham up to the newest believer today, God has called us from where we are at. Although God called Abraham away from the immediate place where he was, he was not taken on a spaceship and flown to a different planet....he remained among his fellow humans here on earth. Same goes for us Christians here today.

We have been called to be salt and light. How can we be salt and light if we remove ourselves from the very people who desperately need the salt and the light? Part of the American culture is the celebration of Christmas (although it has been highly secularized). I think it is actually a good thing for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ....it's one of the only times of the year that it's ok for the Christian message to be "publicized" (through public singing and displays, etc).

Anyway, I do think there is a balance. Also it's a matter of choice and one's tastes. We can go the Local Church way and pretend that we are in a culture that does not celebrate Christmas, or we can get all secular with it and ignore "the reason for the season". Maybe the best is to be somewhere in between.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:51 AM   #46
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Anyway, I do think there is a balance. Also it's a matter of choice and one's tastes.
I agree. And ultimately these choices are (or should be) personal ones, not cultural ones. Thinking that somehow you have somehow escaped fallen human culture actually can create the most pernicious, deeply rooted "Babylon" of them all. Because you think you are free, you don't question your culture, even when it deviates from reality.

Case in point: calling Local Church christians as "saints" and non-Local Church christians as "christians". That is culture. Greeting one another with "amen" is culture. Pumping your fist when you pray is culture... Etc.

Eventually I put up with the "Babylonian" aspects of non-Local Church "degraded christianity" because I was so desperate for some christian fellowship. You know, Jesus hung out with drunkards and thieves without becoming one. And it took a loooong time before I realized some of those "precious truths" I held so dear were actually what OBW calls "overlays". They were Witness Lee's opinions and sea stories being overlaid on the content of scripture, and being pushed as equivalent to the very content of reality itself.

Referencing another remark by a former LC'er, there is arguably more biblical basis for choosing one's leaders by using games of chance (see e.g. Acts 1:26) than there are following some of the LC teachings, terminologies, customs, and practices. It's just culture. Everybody has it. The ones who think that they are "beyond culture" are perhaps the most ensnared by it.

Jesus told the Pharisees that the drunkards and harlots were going into the kingdom before them (Matt 21:31). I think it's too easy to become a Pharisee. The reality of Jesus' message is not to eschew holiday "graven images" and "icons", but to love one another. That having been said, I still don't "do Christmas", but I don't have any hang-ups about hanging out with folks that do. Love is what matters.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #47
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Good points here, and I'll add some I have picked up on my journey.

I was once a staunch anti-Christmas zealot thinking all along that I was pleasing to God, living on the narrow way. Part of the process of the "renewal of my mind" was realizing that it was OK for Chinese saints to celebrate their pagan Chinese New Year. Why can they do that, but we Americans could not?

Real Christians out there in Christianity basically do what the Chinese saints did in the Recovery -- they use the celebration to highlight all the positives about the Savior. In other words, Christians read the story of the Lord's birth to their children and to the unchurched. They separate themselves, however, from the commercial trappings. They give or make gifts for loved ones. They take time to come together.

Especially here in the north during the gloomy "dark ages" of December, have outdoor lights and decorations really makes a cheery home and neighborhood. Since my plan has no sidewalks or streetlights, the lights make a safer place, and it's so nice when I walk my dog outside at night!

One of my biggest regrets I have about the LC experience was how the holidays were denigrated with the sole purpose of attending WL trainings. Thinking I was only doing what the Lord wanted, I actually was separating myself from loved ones. They missed the opportunity to hear the gospel directly from me. My love was directed towards a ministry instead of people. God loves people. Evil religious leaders always misuse the "purity" of God's people to gather their followers, and to separate them from loved ones.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #48
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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One of my biggest regrets I have about the LC experience was how the holidays were denigrated with the sole purpose of attending WL trainings. Thinking I was only doing what the Lord wanted, I actually was separating myself from loved ones.
I won't advocate or persuade anyone to stay or to leave meeting in the local churches. I would only say don't take your relatives for granted. There might not be a tomorrow or a next holiday to enjoy each other's company.
Thinking a training or a conference is more important than spending time with our relatives. If they're not regenerated, it's an opportunity to witness. Because we have a will, we're always presented with choices to make. In hindsight there are choices that could have been made differently.
If you knew your grandmother's cancer had returned and would only live for three more weeks, would you had driven fours to spend Thanksgiving with her than choosing to attend a Thanksgiving conference? The conference may or may not have made a significant impact on your daily Christian life, but in retrospect you realize the consequences of having gone. Time taken for granted is no longer there.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:39 PM   #49
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I sort of envy the simplicity that I see in my new Christian friends - to them it's Jesus' birthday, and there isn't a difference between that and a tree, and Merry Christmas, and all that goes with the season (except Santa Claus, maybe, but even then some are ok with Saint Nicholas) How do you all approach this? Can you say "Christmas?" Seriously, I can hardly say the word!
I think everyone who's posted here in response to your question is offering you Godly advice. Romans 14:5-6a "One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6a Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord..."

I gave up Christmas while in the LC too, and it was hard on the children. Here was a holiday greatly enjoyed and even 'sacred' within my own family growing up, a holiday that meant so much to my mother and for her to celebrate with our kids... Personally, I regret having given it up for that time.

I think all I can add to this discussion is that "therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). If you really feel convicted and condemned for celebrating Christmas for Christ, then you need to ask where that condemnation is really coming from. Yes, the Holy Spirit can convict when we stray, but there is also another who stands before the Lord and accuses our brothers day and night... (Rev 12:10).
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #50
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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I sort of envy the simplicity that I see in my new Christian friends - to them it's Jesus' birthday, and there isn't a difference between that and a tree, and Merry Christmas, and all that goes with the season (except Santa Claus, maybe, but even then some are ok with Saint Nicholas) How do you all approach this? Can you say "Christmas?" Seriously, I can hardly say the word!
It is getting hard to remember the phases of "de-tangling" from the LRC mindset that I went through beginning 25 years ago. But I do recall some of your thoughts.

And when reading the paragraph I quoted above, I think that the longer you are away from the LRC, the more your assessment of where those "simple" Christians around are will change.

First, while you will find that some really do equate the tree with the birth of Christ, many, maybe even most within the more Evangelical spectrum, do not. That is not to say that they draw some hard line. But they recognize the trappings of festivity and even secular aspects, and differentiate it from the true "Christmas story."

And at the same time, they note that so much of the trappings are geared to aspects of the nature of Christ and of His people. While flying reindeer and a fat elf giving presents is purely fantasy, the spirit of giving, and The Gift that is celebrated on that day are significant.

Yes, it is easy to get carried away with the trappings and lose sight of the event that it all claims to celebrate. But that happens even in some of the best church "services," including LRC meetings, at times. Like when we get too focused on a musical solo (in awe or distracted), or go too far in parsing four words in a verse into creating an important doctrine that is not the crux of the passage as a whole. (This happens everywhere.)

I'm not saying to just "get with the program" as far as Christmas goes. I am still somewhat laid-back on parts of it after all this time. There's a tree at home, but I would be fine without it. For me, the focus on Christ, on family, and on rest in the form of a kind of year-end sabbath is what I long for the most. I enjoy the truly spiritual music of the season. I'd sing in the choir if my voice was still cooperating (it hasn't been for a couple of years).

BTW. A great non-Christmas song for Christmas is The Servant King. We ended a Christmas service a few years ago with that song followed immediately by the Hallelujah Chorus. The Lord God Almighty Reins!

I'm not big on declaring "Merry Christmas," but I don't find some fault in it. I just think it is too generic to be meaningful. I still joke that we should put the "X" back in "XMas," but say "Christmas" without a hiccup.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:49 PM   #51
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Okay, my turn.

I think the demonization of "culture" was one of the biggest mistakes the LRC made. It was similar to it's demonization of "movements" and "organizations." The bible doesn't criticize these things, yet we were somehow led to believe God doesn't like them. It's an extremist view.

A big problem with the LRC is that it imagined this idealized purity which wasn't, I don't think, of God. The idea that everything is unclean except for... what? Whatever Lee said was clean? It was all such a silly pursuit, which led to nothing but obscurity and strangeness. Do you know of one person who became a believer because the LRC didn't celebrate Christmas? I didn't think so.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. Titus 1:15.

There is nothing wrong with Christmas that a lover of Jesus cannot easily avoid while still enjoying what's good in it. Should you get drunk at the company Xmas party? Probably not. Buy the Playboy Xmas issue? Uh-uh. Indulge in rank materialism? That would likely be a no, too.

But how about go caroling? Revisit the birth of Jesus? Tell your kids we give gifts because God gave us the greatest gift. Simply be full of thanks and praise for another year. There is nothing wrong with humans celebration.

The fact is our lives have to have some kind of human context. Culture is the medium in which people can relate and in which we can turn the subject to the Truth. If we have nothing in common with people, how can we ever become close enough to them for them to trust us?

Secondly, we are salt. If we just turn the culture over to the lost, culture is going to get even worse than it is. I think we need a Christian presence in every field--writing, entertainment, sports, business. Where did we get this idea that we were supposed to go hide in a meeting hall? Look what it's produced--the invisible local church with no impact. I'm sorry, I just can't believe that is what God is after.


Another issue is this idea that because something has its source in heathenism, then it's always bad. Like putting pretty ornaments and lights on a tree is going to offend God because heathens (supposedly) did it. But that was so long ago nobody relates Christmas trees to evil except fanatics. Over time as something gets accepted into culture, its emphasis changes. Paul even said it was okay to eat meat sacrificed to idols. And that was a pagan ritual that was active at the time! Decorated trees haven't been associated with paganism for possibly thousands of years. And, really, what could be more benign than decorating a tree? So you can decorate a room, but not a tree? Like I said, it's all so silly. IMHO.

Lastly, you have to realize that much of the aversion you have to things like Christmas are mental habits, not spiritual constitution. LRCers recoil from many things not because the Holy Spirit in them does, but just because that's how they've been mentally conditioned. This is probably the most basic thing to keep in mind.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #52
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Here's another thing to consider. If we are to avoid everything that is "corrupt" and "impure," then all the devil has to do to clear us out of something is to corrupt it. Entertainment corrupt? Clear out Christians! Sports? Run! Education? Pack up and move along!

So if we eventually clear out of everything, where do we end up?

Nowhere, that's where. Hiding in a meeting hall, reading lofty spiritual writings, waiting for the Lord to come back. Unable to relate to anyone except those in our little enclave.

God's plan for us? I can't see it. More like Satan's plan to make us irrelevant.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #53
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I don’t remember being told that the church shouldn’t be influenced by culture, I do remember learning about the “world” and that the world was a matter of what each of our hearts might be distracted by, to the point of loving something or someone more than the Lord.

With regard to culture, I recall reading in Genesis about Abraham when he was negotiating with the locals to purchase a burial place for Sarah. He respected and acted according to the customs of the people around him. It was really heartwarming to me when I saw that.

I also remember very individualized accounts (testimonies) about how the Lord would work in one person or another to reach out and to love others, and I remember being amazed that He would live in me to do things outside of my “concept” of what was “proper church life” behavior. One of my first experiences of this was when I went to a basketball game on a Friday night when my students invited me to their first game – and missed the meeting. It was not only ok, it was God! God cared for those boys, I cared for those boys. Most of my church life memories are like that – finding God, and sometimes it was in the unexpected places.

There were other kinds of experiences though, not so pleasant. Initially I absorbed some of that Local Church culture that aron mentioned, e.g. one of the first Christmases I told my mom that I wouldn’t be buying any presents for her that year. I felt absolutely terrible, but stuck to it, thinking I was doing the right thing and obeying God (any verses come to mind over that?) Today, I wonder if the terrible feeling was really the Lord’s reaction to what I was doing, not a reaction by my “soul” because it was being denied.

I did not experience anything of what you all mention about the Chinese New Year as an acceptable practice. All I remember about the Chinese New Year was reading Watchman’s testimony about not being able to put on the new gown which his mother gave to him, when he first became a believer, That would contradict with what you described as a sanctioned practice.

Thank you NeitherFirstnorLast for the verses about “let each one be fully persuaded” – they have been rolling around in my thoughts as well and have been a stabilizing point for me. But it is not just about the day, it’s about the day plus. Not sure that what I feel is conviction or condemnation, I just want to know how I feel before the Lord and how I should live this year in particular.

And I appreciate the balanced comments too about getting carried away with the trappings and that we can have a human context, and that we really need to live in that context. When someone made the reference about eating things sacrificed to idols, I looked at 1 Corinthians 8 again - “we know that we all have knowledge, knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know, but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” Wow. It seems love really is key.

I am awed by your responses. Thank you. I didn’t know I would find such a community here. I hope I haven’t written too much – I seem to remember reading about a limit on the length of a post?
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:23 AM   #54
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... One of my first experiences of this was when I went to a basketball game on a Friday night when my students invited me to their first game – and missed the meeting. It was not only ok, it was God! God cared for those boys, I cared for those boys. Most of my church life memories are like that – finding God, and sometimes it was in the unexpected places.
One of the nice things about experiencing God in the "Local Churches" was when it really was local. You weren't there for "the Body" or "the central lane of the Lord's move" or some "high peak" from "the ministry". You were just there, paying attention to those whom God had placed next to you. That really was "finding God", as you put it; just as real, or moreso, than some doctrinal "teaching" or "truth". Just watching some boys playing basketball, or talking to some person on the street. Look at how many otherwise small and random encounters Jesus had. For Jesus nothing was common, nothing (and no one) was ordinary.

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.. I looked at 1 Corinthians 8 again - “we know that we all have knowledge, knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know, but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.” Wow. It seems love really is key.
Love edifies. Amen to your 'Wow'. Loving God, and being known by God: these are lifetime pursuits. While I remain in the flesh it would be wise not to suppose that I know anything, as Paul wrote. In a sense, Paul erected a firewall against gnosticism: he wrote that we are to know God, or to be known by Him; but we should never presume that we know anything.

Related to pagan culture: I have a good Christian friend, "Fred", who is very upright. Fred never smoked or drank. Very strict upbringing, very self-disciplined. Very aware of righteousness, not in a legal way, but in a kind of intrinsic way; he defines his very self via his behavior. He instinctively and reflexively cringes at the thought of loose, worldly, and immoral behavior, as if he were contemplating a physical assault on his parents.

All well and good, except that he continually fights with people at work, or on the bus, at the checkout counter, etc, who he deems sloppy, loose, lazy, immoral, and foul-mouthed. I listened to his tales of woe, how all these people are so horrible, and I told him, in summary, that first the sinners need to feel God's love. God's righteousness will not find them through Fred, but only through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, mercy triumphs over judgment (Ja. 2). God loved us so much that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5; 1 Jo. 4). So I told him, don't judge and condemn these people. Find God's love for them, and the righteousness part will follow.

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I am awed by your responses. Thank you. I didn’t know I would find such a community here. I hope I haven’t written too much – I seem to remember reading about a limit on the length of a post?
Yes, there is a community here. I don't know if we can "love one another" electronically, but at least people care. If someone struggles, or has an opinion or question, people care. People pay attention.

Regarding length: for your first 8 or 10 posts they are somewhat indulgent. After that - watch out! They will drop the hammer. (insert smiley face here)

Last point regarding Christmas, or any human social/cultural event: it isn't sin if you participate, per se. But if you get crushed, and your spirit lies bleached and dead in the sand, then don't go. I stopped going to the office holiday parties after a couple of feeble attempts. There was just too many of "them" and not enough of "me". So I remembered Jesus' counsel about having 10,000 troops and meeting an enemy coming with 20,000. So I decided, Just sue for peace while you are yet at a distance.

But culture is there, and it's inevitable. Our very reality is culturally and socially derived. Like the flesh, it is there. As Igzy said, if we hide from "the world" with all of its impurities, where are we? Likewise, the church at present is not free from contamination. But remember that Paul didn't flee from the Corinthian church: he engaged them. With love.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:16 AM   #55
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I think we need to be general and loving, and not get caught up in rules a regulations. When we are sinning, God will tell us. We don't need to go around worrying about whether every little thing we do is sinful. We need to be positive.

I believe Paul understood this matter of mental conditioning. That's why he said be fully persuaded in your own mind, and whatever is not of faith is sin. In a very real sense, it's not the thing itself, it's what you think about it. So if Christmas is wrong to you, you are going to feel wrong, and that will affect your conscience. At the same time, that doesn't mean that Christmas is wrong to God or that your attitude about it couldn't evolve. Freedom in Christ grows larger when you begin to realize that God is not worry about legalism, but about your heart.

It's not about getting everything right, it's about maintaining your relationship with God.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:30 AM   #56
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I think the demonization of "culture" was one of the biggest mistakes the LRC made. It was similar to it's demonization of "movements" and "organizations." The bible doesn't criticize these things, yet we were somehow led to believe God doesn't like them. It's an extremist view.

A big problem with the LRC is that it imagined this idealized purity which wasn't, I don't think, of God. The idea that everything is unclean except for... what? Whatever Lee said was clean? It was all such a silly pursuit, which led to nothing but obscurity and strangeness. Do you know of one person who became a believer because the LRC didn't celebrate Christmas? I didn't think so.
Good observations.

Reminded me of a conference in Cleveland (should be in the aftermath of the Max storm) with Lee in which he attacked culture. It was loosely based on verses in Colossians. There was nothing but "obscurity and strangeness" during those meetings. People tried to testify, and Lee condemned all these failed attempts. Culture was demonized and we all left there wondering how much of our life was culture and how much was Christ. Talk about discouragement, dismay, and distrust.

What was in the wake of that conference? Question everything ... except for the ministry of Lee. Why? Because only he was above culture, only he had eyes to see, and only he can possible know the way out. All the rest of us are blinded and deceived by "culture." Only Lee had this sage-like aura around him of omniscience.

Culture had become the "bugbear in the closet," the bogey man, the vehicle to control the members, holding them in fear, lest they seek greener pastures elsewhere.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:49 AM   #57
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But culture is there, and it's inevitable. Our very reality is culturally and socially derived. Like the flesh, it is there. As Igzy said, if we hide from "the world" with all of its impurities, where are we? Likewise, the church at present is not free from contamination. But remember that Paul didn't flee from the Corinthian church: he engaged them. With love.
Fascinating. Thinking about the extreme "culture" which was so prevalent in Corinth and the strict and legalistic Jewish "culture" the Apostle once lived by, it took one "vision" to get Paul into Europe (Acts 16.9-10) and another "vision" (Acts 18.9-11) to get him to stay in Corinth.

The love Paul had was from the Lord Himself.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #58
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Reminded me of a conference in Cleveland ... with Lee in which he attacked culture.

...Culture had become the "bugbear in the closet," the bogey man, the vehicle to control the members, holding them in fear, lest they seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Exactly. Like "Christianity"; Lee hadn't been anywhere near "Christianity" for lo, how many decades? Yet he would hold it up as a "straw man" to his audience. And naturally we were amazed with his keen, penetrating insights about what degradation was occurring everywhere else. And we congratulated ourselves on "coming out of Babylon", even while ignoring the red flags popping up within us.

And ironically, there is degradation in Christianity. There is a lot of hokum in the holidays, which is not only unspiritual, but distracts us and distorts the spiritual element (rampant materialism, socially-enforced "jollity", etc). But there is a splinter-and-beam analogy here. Those who sit on their self-righteous thrones, eagerly pointing out the splinters in others' eyes, are missing the beam in their own.

Merry Christmas, everybody.*

*(a little humor, there. Just couldn't resist)
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:14 AM   #59
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Good observations.

Reminded me of a conference in Cleveland (should be in the aftermath of the Max storm) with Lee in which he attacked culture. It was loosely based on verses in Colossians. There was nothing but "obscurity and strangeness" during those meetings. People tried to testify, and Lee condemned all these failed attempts. Culture was demonized and we all left there wondering how much of our life was culture and how much was Christ. Talk about discouragement, dismay, and distrust.

What was in the wake of that conference? Question everything ... except for the ministry of Lee. Why? Because only he was above culture, only he had eyes to see, and only he can possible know the way out. All the rest of us are blinded and deceived by "culture." Only Lee had this sage-like aura around him of omniscience.

Culture had become the "bugbear in the closet," the bogey man, the vehicle to control the members, holding them in fear, lest they seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Ohio, thanks for this. It so much nails it. The ideal was always something we looked to Lee to clarify. It was abstract and often changing. Culture, organization, movement, religion, "Christianity," "worldly techniques," all these bugbears were defined in the mind of Lee, nowhere else. So he could keep everyone on a string. And if he didn't like something, he'd just label it as bad, and that was that. You see the BBs doing the same thing. They are God's "move." Everything else is someone's "movement."

One reason it's so hard to put this kind of thing behind you is precisely because it is so nebulous and emotionally based. I mean, there is no reason to believe the Recovery is "God's move" other than you believe it. You either believe Lee is the man, or you don't. But there's nothing rational or scriptural about it, when you get right down to it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #60
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One reason it's so hard to put this kind of thing behind you is precisely because it is so nebulous and emotionally based. I mean, there is no reason to believe the Recovery is "God's move" other than you believe it. You either believe Lee is the man, or you don't. But there's nothing rational or scriptural about it, when you get right down to it.
Once you accept a premise, however it was derived, and find satisfaction and comfort in it, then all your rationalizing is just a veneer. You can tell yourself you are being rational, and scriptural, and even spiritual. And to some extent you are. But underneath it all, carefully covered over and tended, is something "nebulous and emotionally based" which defies all attempts at exposure. It's as though your brain is not smart enough to analyze your own brain, and your heart is not pure enough to perceive its own darkness. So you content yourself with looking at someone else, pointing, and declaring, "Look, everyone! Darkness is right over there! Beware!"
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #61
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Exactly. Like "Christianity"; Lee hadn't been anywhere near "Christianity" for lo, how many decades? Yet he would hold it up as a "straw man" to his audience. And naturally we were amazed with his keen, penetrating insights about what degradation was occurring everywhere else. And we congratulated ourselves on "coming out of Babylon", even while ignoring the red flags popping up within us.
Wow!

I have never considered this obvious flaw in Lee's assertions. He makes so many claims about how Christianity is, but never saw much of anything other than a couple of denominations in his (relative) youth. He had so much insight into the ways of Christianity. (Where is that tongue-in-cheek smilie when you need it?) But he didn't even go to all the meetings in Anaheim when he was in town. He surely was not darkening the doorways of any Protestant denomination, independent, or free group. And I doubt he was watching them on TV.

But other than very generic mentions of things, like choirs, solos, bulletins, and so forth, he didn't really know what went on in them. He condemned their theology for not preaching "God's economy." That was easy. No one had come up with that fabricated construct but Lee, so he was right.

And so much of his complaint was based on remnant theology (and the LRC was the remnant that left Christianity in Babylon). On the use of equivocation to cast anything that had the word "religion" attached to it as anti-Christ (not meaning "The Antichrist" — just opposed to or instead of Christ). On accepting his assertion that everything not on the "ground" was doomed no matter how otherwise sound.

But we were ready to go forth to war against the evil Babylon and accepted his assertions about Christianity. We wanted to be special. It pleased us to be special just as it eventually pleased Lee to be exalted. ("Oh, that Lee. He is to be exalted." - not a precise quote)

Now before anyone get their panties in a wad about God's economy, I'm not saying that there is not such a thing. But what it really is can be found in very different terms all over the gamut of church groups (even the EO and RCC). That bizarre, narrow thing that Lee concocted and used to revise and even reinvent so much of scripture is nowhere to be found in my Bible is not what Paul was talking about when he wrote to Timothy.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:34 PM   #62
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Wow!

I have never considered this obvious flaw in Lee's assertions. He makes so many claims about how Christianity is, but never saw much of anything other than a couple of denominations in his (relative) youth.
Apparently the entire "local" church movement, with their preeminent doctrine of the "ground of locality," originated with the desire of young Chinese to be liberated from the arrogance of British mission boards.

This was primarily due to the influence of M. Barber on Nee. The other hallmark LC practice was her pattern of "perfecting" the brothers by rebuking and shaming them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #63
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Now before anyone get their panties in a wad about God's economy ...
In the rare instance of reading OBW's post to completion, I was blessed with this exceptional imagery.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:49 AM   #64
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... so much of [Lee's] complaint was based on remnant theology (and the LRC was the remnant that left Christianity in Babylon). ... the use of equivocation to cast anything that had the word "religion" attached to it as ... opposed to or instead of Christ. [and]...accepting his assertion that everything not on the "ground" was doomed no matter how otherwise sound..
On the flip side, it meant accepting everything on the "ground", that might otherwise only be tenuously related to the Bible via Lee's logic. No matter how truncated the "interpreted" Bible became, as long as one was on the "local ground" it was thought of as triple-filtered, utterly purified, and "crystallized". And as long as one was on the "ground", and under the "apostle", one could excitedly participate in every "move" as if it were flowing directly from the throne itself.

But what was good in Christianity, and might otherwise be pleasing to the Father, was dismissed out of hand simply because it was not on the "ground"; in more current parlance, it is held as not "building up the Body".

Quote:
... But we were ready to go forth to war against the evil Babylon and accepted his assertions about Christianity. We wanted to be special. It pleased us to be special just as it eventually pleased Lee to be exalted.
To go back to "Making Leaving the LC Easier", and Redeemed posting about meeting an alien culture (pulpit & pew, chorus, holiday themes), the best thing that could have happened to me after leaving the LC was to find myself back in "evil Babylon". I had been thoroughly pickled in LSM brine, and to say that I disapproved of much that I saw back in Christianity would be an understatement!

But somehow I instinctively knew that there was/is much in my own walk that was/is imperfect, and displeases the Father. Why else did Jesus teach us to pray, "Our Father in heaven... forgive us our trespasses...? If I trespass, and ask for forgiveness, should I only forgive Lee et al their shortcomings, while without mercy I judge the rest? What "ground" would allow me to distort the gospel thus?

No; there I was, eventually finding myself "bearing one another in love" among those with all the shortcomings that Lee had spent so much time and effort exposing and condemning.

I agree with OBW that I had received the "ground" of Nee because it made me feel special, unique, part of the "chosen few", in contrast to "common" and "degraded" Christianity. I sucked up to Lee & Co because it fed my own ego. Lee's system, both theological and organizational, seemed special and I supported their system as such because my participation made me feel special as well.

But, regardless, somehow I "lowered myself" into "common Christianity" and eventually met the Lord there. God loved those common, degraded Christians. Instead of a "superior" and "exalted" Christ, instead of a "processed and consummated, seven-fold intensified" Christ, I saw a humble, meek, mild, gentle Man named Jesus who was not ashamed to associate Himself with the losers, failures, cripples, deaf, blind, lame, orphans, widows, addicts, etc. He met them and embraced them and healed them. He pointed them to their Father. I could see Him there. And I could feel the Father's great, saving love.

Once outside the LC "ground" you will automatically disapprove when meeting others. You will be horrified. You will be aghast. You will feel the "spirit of Lee", through you, looking down on all that does not match the Father. And there is much, admittedly. But eventually you will feel the "spirit of Christ" meeting with you there. The Christmas decorations won't bother you so much because you will feel His love. You will really know what is special -- not so much that you are special, but rather that His love is.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #65
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in the process of registering. very grateful for the site.
My perspective is different: how would you sugget helping someone you love, a family member, exit the LC if this person is a full time meeting attender & conference attender and whose greatest desire is to attending full time training in Anaheim? I believe that the LC will be destructive in the long run and after 2 years of full time training it may be exceedingly difficult to UNdo such a worldview and practice of religion.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:55 PM   #66
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in the process of registering. very grateful for the site.
My perspective is different: how would you sugget helping someone you love, a family member, exit the LC if this person is a full time meeting attender & conference attender and whose greatest desire is to attending full time training in Anaheim? I believe that the LC will be destructive in the long run and after 2 years of full time training it may be exceedingly difficult to UNdo such a worldview and practice of religion.
Greetings.

I will pass on what the Holy Spirit has taught me.

Stay connected to the Lord. It sounds like a no brainer and redundant. So I will attempt to explain. Don't fixate yourself on your loved one. Don't try to pull them out of the LRC by explaining its pitfalls. I have friends who are die hard Catholics. I was raised Catholic. When I was in the LC in the 70s and learned the Catholic church was represented by the church in Thyatira, etc.. I "warned" my family and friends. I did not want to step into a catholic church building. I could have gotten cookies!!!

These days, when talking or fellowshipping, we speak of the Lord not the church. I share scriptures if the conversation calls for it. If they bring up praying to Mary, I don't argue with them but if the opportunity arises I explain to them where the "Hail Mary" came from. I take them to Luke 1:26-28 where the Angel Gabriel greets Mary and tells her the LORD is with her. She is blessed and favored among all women.

I encourage them to address the Lord Jesus when they pray for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No person can get to the Father but by Him. (of course we can pray/address the Father, the Holy Spirit for EL-Shsddai is Almighty God.)

My point is, when you talk/fellowship with your loved one, focus on Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus. It is futile convincing them the LRC has done more harm than good.

Be patient when they talk about Brother Lee, the Blendeds, the footnotes, the messages.

Pray for the LORD to draw them to HIMSELF, that they would fall in Love with Christ, the Living Word of God. Pray that when they read, study the Word, they would hear the Voice of God, not the voice of Lee or the blendeds.

And finally ask the Holy Spirit of God to bless you with Wisdom, Revelation and insight. Ask the Lord to bless and anoint your words so when you fellowship with your loved one, it will be CHRIST IN you speaking through you. Pray your loved one sees Christ in you.

Hope this helps some.

Blessings and Peace,

Carol Garza
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #67
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in the process of registering. very grateful for the site.
My perspective is different: how would you sugget helping someone you love, a family member, exit the LC if this person is a full time meeting attender & conference attender and whose greatest desire is to attending full time training in Anaheim? I believe that the LC will be destructive in the long run and after 2 years of full time training it may be exceedingly difficult to UNdo such a worldview and practice of religion.
Dear friend,

I would say two words: Pray and model. Pray for your family member and model genuine Christ-like care. Rest in the Lord and trust him.

This board is proof that debating with people whose minds are made up is futile. Even reasonably open-minded people have a hard time admitting "Hey, you were right and I was wrong!" Direct confrontation alone just doesn't get it done.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And even then, without some personal crisis to push them to seek answers, most people are not going to change. We need prayer and care. Visible care.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:57 PM   #68
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Thanks both to you 67 & 68. Its painful to see distance between those you love, almost like they are on a boat sailing away from the dock and you aren't quite certain that their voyage will be uneventful and that there's no guarantee they'll dock there again.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:41 AM   #69
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Its painful to see distance between those you love, almost like they are on a boat sailing away from the dock and you aren't quite certain that their voyage will be uneventful and that there's no guarantee they'll dock there again.
TJ,

I would like to give you a couple of verses for encouragement. First, "Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus." Nothing. No group, no teaching, no practice. Eventually God wins. Never give up, never get discouraged, never doubt. God will win. Just be patient, and hold fast to your faith until the end. God will win. Through your faith, your family member remains "safe in the arms of Jesus."

Second, is the verse "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." I consider the whole schema of the Nee/Lee/Local Church system to be of the world, and in the world. Their incessant merchandising, and their total disregard for the poor, among other practices, made this clear to me. Eventually the One who is greater, the One whose Spirit abides in your family member's human heart, will win. So your guarantee is in the Word of God, and your stubborn faith which holds to and declares to this word firmly until the end.

Regarding strategy, there is a great quote from Igzy on another thread. You may have read it already but it bears repeating. It has been my experience, also.

QUOTE: "This is where LCers fall flat on their faces. And I mean flat. Has there ever been a Christian group worse at defending their beliefs than them? This is why their numbers are small, but devoted--precisely because their positions are not well thought-out, but rather are visceral and emotional. They are the product of being hammered with teachings week-in and week-out while being threatened with a dire fate not only for disbelieving them, but even simply for holding them up to the light of intelligent questioning. The result is people who will defend their beliefs to the end with everything they have...except a good argument.

To me, anything worth believing can be explained intelligently. You don't need threatening and you don't need to run away when someone asks a question you can't answer. You should consider such questions as gifts, because they point out the weakness in your beliefs, at least so far as you hold them at that moment.

LCers don't do that. They make declarations. If you question them, they make them again, perhaps slightly reworded, but essentially the same. If your questions make them uncomfortable, they will disappear, considering you "bad material." They never stop to think that perhaps their material is bad. They can't, because to them questioning is the beginning of the fall."


I tried debating with some Local Churchers, once. There were several of them, and one of me. They presented me with huge extracts of quotes from Witness Lee and Watchman Nee. Paragraph after paragraph of writings were quoted verbatim. I said, "Well, what do you think? Can you explain this to me in your own words?" No; they just wanted to quote Nee and Lee. They didn't want to think, to question, to examine.

When I persisted in my probing of the Nee/Lee analysis, trying to show there were other ways to approach the Word of God than the logic of these 2 men, one of the Local Churchers began to say that my heart was "dark" and I was "rebellious" because I had "ambition" which had been thwarted (I am a former member of the group).

So reasoning is usually a dead end. Have you ever tried to reason with a Mormon? They just keep repeating the mantras they've been handed. Any deviation from their 'group norm' makes them uncomfortable, and they avoid it at all costs. An integral part of their teaching is 'don't question the teaching.'

So it is a stubborn virus that you are dealing with here. It is resistant to many of the basic cures. But, greater is God than any worldly virus. God can raise the dead, and He can surely turn within the human heart. Just hold fast to the Word of truth, and God will have His way. "Thy will be done, Father God." Tell yourself that you will never let go, not of God nor your family member, and God will have a way.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:31 AM   #70
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TJ,
"Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus." Nothing. No group, no teaching, no practice. Eventually God wins. Never give up, never get discouraged, never doubt. God will win. Just be patient, and hold fast to your faith until the end. God will win. Through your faith, your family member remains "safe in the
Arms of Jesus
."
Hey Aron,
A few years ago, a friend of mine sadly took his own life after feeling there was no way out of the pit he dug for himself. It was devasting of course. But you know what the Holy Spirit told his sister and what she & the family put as an epitah on his tombstone? "Safe in the Arms of the Lord".

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Second, is the verse "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." I consider the whole schema of the Nee/Lee/Local Church system to be of the world, and in the world. Their incessant merchandising, and their total disregard for the poor, among other practices, made this clear to me. Eventually the One who is greater, the One whose Spirit abides in your family member's human heart, will win. So your guarantee is in the Word of God, and your stubborn faith which holds to and declares to this Word firmly until the end.

I tried debating with some Local Churchers, once. There were several of them, and one of me. They presented me with huge extracts of quotes from Witness Lee and Watchman Nee. Paragraph after paragraph of writings were quoted verbatim. I said, "Well, what do you think? Can you explain this to me in your own words?" No; they just wanted to quote Nee and Lee. They didn't want to think, to question, to examine.

When I persisted in my probing of the Nee/Lee analysis, trying to show there were other ways to approach the Word of God than the logic of these 2 men, one of the Local Churchers began to say that my heart was "dark" and I was "rebellious" because I had "ambition" which had been thwarted (I am a former member of the group).

So reasoning is usually a dead end. Have you ever tried to reason with a Mormon? They just keep repeating the mantras they've been handed. Any deviation from their 'group norm' makes them uncomfortable, and they avoid it at all costs. An integral part of their teaching is 'don't question the teaching.'
I began to chuckle as I read your debate w/the LCrs as I thought of my encounter with the Mormons!!! Then you compared their repeating mantras to the LCrs mantras and defense of Lee/Nee!! That is exactly how it is!!!! Last summer as I listened to the Mormons give me their schpeel, they kept telling me over and over how God, I mean god spoke to Joseph Smith. From that point on, it was all about Joseph Smith being "the prophet". As they went on and on about Joseph Smith, I was sooo reminded of the LCrs adulation of Brother Lee.
They did not rattle me in the least. They saw how much I truly loved the Word. I did not merely quote scriptures to them. But I did politely and lovingly kept reminding them JESUS IS GOD by pointing them to the scriptures. They do not believe Jesus IS God. They only believe He is the Son of God and Lucifer's brother. How SAD!!!! When we were done, we prayed together and I asked the Lord to bless them. I gave them some bottled water to take with them on their way.

Several years ago, I never would have sat down with them!

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So it is a stubborn virus that you are dealing with here. It is resistant to many of the basic cures. But, greater is God than any worldly virus. God can raise the dead, and He can surely turn within the human heart. Just hold fast to the Word of Truth, and God will have His way. "Thy will be done, Father God." Tell yourself that you will never let go, not of God nor your family member, and God will have a way.
I loved this post of yours Aron !!!!

May I add yet another scripture? Psalm 144:15 "Happy is that people whose GOD is the Lord".

People need to see the Joy and the Peace of the Lord in us. Don't misunderstand. I know all too well, there are times we are not so 'happy'. But I think everyone of us former LCr here know that as long as we stay connected to our God, He is not going to leave us 'unhappy'. He truly does turn our mourning into dancing.

Blessings!

Carol Garza
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #71
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Thanks both to you 67 & 68. Its painful to see distance between those you love, almost like they are on a boat sailing away from the dock and you aren't quite certain that their voyage will be uneventful and that there's no guarantee they'll dock there again.
I would encourage you to look at this differently. If this person is truly going to be a committed member of the LRC they will soon no longer be able to fellowship with any other Christians. If you keep the door open for fellowship you will soon be the only person they can fellowship with outside of the LRC. To do that you will have to put up with a lot of arrogant self righteous judgments. Don't get offended. Don't respond "tit for tat". If a communication comes across as outrageously arrogant and offensive, just ignore it. Remember Abigail, she didn't try to reason with Nabal when he was drunk, she waited till the next morning when he had a hangover.

Doesn't the Bible say "a brother is born for adversity"?
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:34 AM   #72
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I loved this post of yours Aron !!!!

May I add yet another scripture? Psalm 144:15 "Happy is that people whose GOD is the Lord".

People need to see the Joy and the Peace of the Lord in us... I know all too well, there are times we are not so 'happy'. But I think everyone of us former LCr here know that as long as we stay connected to our God, He is not going to leave us 'unhappy'. He truly does turn our mourning into dancing.
Carol,

With "the word of Christ" dwelling in you richly, your heart is made soft and your face becomes like flint. I remember 20 years ago when the Mormons and other absolutist groups would tell me that "we alone have the truth; all others are in darkness" and tried to sway me with their earnest teachings I was more easily affected. Today I can just keep listening to the Shepherd, who is right there in the Word, speaking to me. "My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me."
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #73
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A lot of has been said around here about going on after the LC, or how to deal with life after the LC, or how to adapt to a new church and new life. A lot of it is good. But you shouldn't have to remember too much to move on. And actually, you don't.

I'm going to give you what I think is the key concept for moving on after the LC. The idea is so basic. But it is something that was taken from us, or we gave it away. Probably both. Either way, without it, sooner or later you will discover that your life is somehow out of sync, even out of control, that you are living someone else's life, and it won't be fun. With it, you can sit next to the pope himself, or Witness Lee if you prefer, and neither be defensive nor subservient to him. With it, you can appreciate the unique gifts in others while not being intimidated by them. Without it, somehow you will always be on someone's string and you will never really be true to yourself.

Like I said, it's really simple. So simple it's easy to miss.

The key is.....

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Never believe anything just because someone else does.


That's it. It doesn't seem like much at first, does it? But it's very powerful.

If you truly employ this principle, no one will ever be able to lead you around by the nose again. It isn't that you become antagonistic and defensive, or needlessly skeptical and "independent." It's just that you make up your mind not to believe anything for any reason other than you've considered it, prayed about it and decided it's true.

No one has the right to decide for you what is real and what isn't. The LC presumed to have that right. I don't doubt that many there thought that was the proper way to be. But they were wrong. They were wrong because no one who lets others decide for him what he believes is a genuine person.

The LC's foundational belief, whether anyone admits it or not, is that you are better off letting Lee and Nee, or "the Body," do your thinking for you. Somewhere along the line I accepted that belief. I thought I was being a good boy for doing it. I thought I would be accepted into the "in club" and even be honored by God for being so self-sacrificial. But the fact is I was dishonoring myself and God. I was abandoning the obligation God gives all his conscious creatures--to think, to consider, to accept responsibility, to decide for oneself what is true--to not place anyone's word above His and His voice he put in all of us.

Once you decide to never again believe something just because someone else tells you to, you can never again be enslaved to someone else's agenda. You will always be free, even if you chose to use your freedom to serve others.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:17 AM   #74
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Obviously, I'm talking about foundational beliefs, not belief in intermittent claims.

If Witness Lee tells you that you are becoming God, don't believe it until you decide for yourself it's true.

But if your young son rushes in the house and tells you his brother set the cat on fire, believe him, if only in the short term. At the very least check it out.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #75
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Never believe anything just because someone else does.
At heart here is the issue of trust. I believe it is absolutely normal ... may I even venture to label it a God-given characteristic innate to the divine life within us ... to trust the brothers and the Christian leaders God has placed us with. I know that was a description of my relationship with the brothers in the early days. I still believe the force of my convictions was initially of God, and not merely human persuasion.

Then ... when that trust is betrayed ... Igzy's "never believe anything" maxim is in full force until that trust is reestablished. For me confidence in LC leaders never was restored. The reason was simple. They would never take ownership for their actions. I saw this on all levels. No LC leader has ever or would ever repent for abusing or mistreating other members. Accountability is not in their vocabulary, since they somehow believe they have license from above to mistreat or manipulate one another.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #76
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At heart here is the issue of trust. I believe it is absolutely normal ... may I even venture to label it a God-given characteristic innate to the divine life within us ... to trust the brothers and the Christian leaders God has placed us with. I know that was a description of my relationship with the brothers in the early days. I still believe the force of my convictions was initially of God, and not merely human persuasion.
I'm not talking about mistrust, I'm talking about something else. I'm talking about reserving judgment on a declaration of fundamental truth until you actually believe it for some other reason other than someone you trust said it.

I trust my pastor. But that doesn't mean I have to treat any words that come out of his mouth as if they are straight from God. Thinking that way, in my experience, always ends up getting me in trouble. For one, it leads me to take to heart things that aren't really true, and two, it prevents me from actually considering things deeply because I've already decided to believe them because of who said them. In other words, I act like a child who assimilates his parent's beliefs for no reason other than his parents believe them. That's fine for six-year-olds, but it's a mistake for adults.

This goes back to Lee and "the brothers," but I've seen it with my reaction to non-LC leaders as well. I do not think our trust of leaders, God-given or not, obligates us to treat their words as ever necessarily from God. I think it obligates us to consider they might be, but no more than that. The decision that what they said is actually Truth or not is another, separate step.

The LC exploited to the hilt this mistaken belief that we were supposed to give leaders the benefit of the doubt that they had the oracles of God. But in my experience, that always ends up with you in a place where you haven't made up your own mind, you've just assumed someone else's mind. And I don't think that is ultimately the way to real faith, let alone taking real responsibility.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #77
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For one, it leads me to take to heart things that aren't really true, and two, it prevents me from actually considering things deeply because I've already decided to believe them because of who said them.
A third thing it compels me to do is to defend something someone taught, to justify it in my own mind and to others, simply because that someone taught it. Thus it causes me to lose integrity.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:11 PM   #78
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In other words, I act like a child who assimilates his parent's beliefs for no reason other than his parents believe them.
The analogy of a child with his parents goes deep within the spiritual relationships that exist in God's family. On God's side, within both His created life and the divine life, are characteristics such as unquestioned love and trust towards one's parents. Personally I experienced this unquestioned love and trust towards the brothers in Christ who shepherded me in the days of my spiritual childhood. I have to believe this trust was was contained in the divine seed, since it did not exist in me prior to my regeneration.

The young Thessalonian believers were healthy examples of the faith. They actually became imitators (1.5) of the apostles, as a child does his parents. They accepted the words of the apostles, not as words of men, but as the word of God. (2.13) They then became imitators of churches (2.14) in distant Judea.

God's word balances this trust with clear directives which instruct the parents (and shepherds) of their great responsibilities. While on earth Jesus used many opportunities to instruct the disciples concerning serving rather than ruling. Paul himself was such a great pattern of serving according to God's heart. He stressed to the Thessalonians what kind of men they were for their sake. (1.5) Paul stressed how he was without deception, guile, and covetousness, not seeking glory from men. (2.3-5) Further he was gentle among them as a nursing mother with her own children, mentioning his labor, hardship, and sufferings, (2.8-11) connecting his holy and righteous manner of life with the proper care of a father for his young.

Eventually every child of God must have his faculties exercised (Heb 5.14) and grow in his discernment. Each child of God must learn to discern who are the proper shepherds of God and who are those speaking perverted things to draw the disciples after themselves. (Acts 20.30) The Thessalonians faced this trial, and were preserved in the faith. The Galatians, however, also faced this trial and left the faith, being foolish and bewitched (Gal 3.1-3) by the false ones who longed to bring them under subjection (2.5) make a good show of them in the flesh (6.12)

As I have mentioned on many occasions, many LC leaders violated that normal God-given trust placed in their hands by young believers such as myself. Theirs was the greater responsibility. It is unfortunate that many brothers who did leave, did so quietly without adequately warning others. First Thessalonians admonishes us to "prove all things and hold on to what is good," (5.21) and this eventually caused some to sound the alarm. They put the teachings and leadership of LC leaders to the test, and they came up wanting.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:56 AM   #79
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Ohio, that's fine, but it doesn't mean we have to believe things just because others do.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:50 AM   #80
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Ohio, that's fine, but it doesn't mean we have to believe things just because others do.
It is human nature to reject all those things which others tell us we have to do or believe, but it is also innate in new life, whether human or divine, to trust and imitate others. This characteristic of new life is undoubtedly from God. You obviously are speaking from the voice of experience, and hindsight is always clearer than foresight. You are speaking of the healthy discernment which all believers must develop in time. I agree wholeheartedly with this. This is why the Bible provides many warnings for the young, but rather severe judgments (e.g. a millstone around your neck) for rotten leaders and shepherds.

WL and LRC leaders, however, became quite adept at neutralizing the growing discernment in their members. Many of their honed skills were no different than the political spin we daily confront in the news. Excessive fear was used to keep us "penned up" in shelters without healthy contact with the rest of the body of Christ. LSM used information control to filter all the news we received. This forum has exposed many of the techniques which were engaged over time by LSM to maintain their pristine image to members.

I always wondered why few seasoned Christians could jump in unreservedly and see the "vision" which had captured the rest of us. Of course, we had our reasoning about how they had been spoiled by Christianity or hardened by life. The real reason was probably the normal discernment that had developed within them. Some just knew "something was wrong" without even having definite scripture to guide them. Having a bookroom with only one man's books was enough to raise suspicions.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #81
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WL and LRC leaders, however, became quite adept at neutralizing the growing discernment in their members.
Yes, and one way they did it was to spread the belief that blessing was to be found with just replacing your beliefs with whatever they believed. This was done in various ways -- "listen to 'the brothers,'" "get 'the fellowship'," "follow the Body," "obey 'the Ministry,'" "don't be independent," "don't have an opinion," "deny yourself,' "get out of your mind," "take the cross," and a host of others).

Although certainly we are supposed to seek the input of other believers in our life, the extremes to which the LC emphasized this principle was ridiculous. I believe it put in us an idea that was fundamentally wrong, and which if not rooted out, will always hinder us.

This wrong idea, for me, can be summed up as simply, "believing something just because someone else does."
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:22 AM   #82
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Although certainly we are supposed to seek the input of other believers in our life, the extremes to which the LC emphasized this principle was ridiculous. I believe it put in us an idea that was fundamentally wrong, and which if not rooted out, will always hinder us.

This wrong idea, for me, can be summed up as simply, "believing something just because someone else does."
For me personally, I would like to add to your maxim ... "believing something, contrary to either the scriptures or our conscience, just because someone else does."

In the years since we have left, my wife and I often have this experience: while listening to some healthy ministry, either in a book, or on TV, or in person, we would look at each other and say, "that's not how we were taught." And in one more area, we find ourselves being re-calibrated, de-toxed, and un-leavened.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #83
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For me personally, I would like to add to your maxim ... "believing something, contrary to either the scriptures or our conscience, just because someone else does."

In the years since we have left, my wife and I often have this experience: while listening to some healthy ministry, either in a book, or on TV, or in person, we would look at each other and say, "that's not how we were taught." And in one more area, we find ourselves being re-calibrated, de-toxed, and un-leavened.
I think you are perhaps still missing my point (not to take away from yours).

What I'm saying is not to say 'well my leader said it, so I'm going to believe it until I have a good reason not to.' No. Say, 'my leader said it, but I'm not going to believe it until I have a good reason to believe it.' Until then, belief is going to have to wait. If that hurts your leader's feelings, that's his problem.

Don't believe things to go along to get along.
Don't believe things to show your "oneness."
Don't believe things to show you are a team player.
Don't believe things because you respect the source.
Believe them because you know they are true. Until then, don't.

What's the hurry to believe them, anyway? How many more beliefs do you really need?

Remember how in the LC we were so quick to "Amen" everything? I watched a video of a table meeting. The amening was mindless. That's what I'm warning about--that need to show solidarity, however mindless it may be. Or, the mistaken idea that God honors our mindless support of directives for no other reason other than to show support. I don't think God likes that. I think he expects us to carefully consider what is valid before we say "Amen!"

Here's the thing. If you just believe something because some leader told you to, you really don't even believe it. Because if all you know is that he told you to believe it then you don't understand it. So when push comes to shove you are just accepting someone else's thinking. This is how the LC controls people. It's how to create clueless disciples who can't think for themselves. Eventually that person is going to be lost without someone telling him what to believe. Of course, that's what the LC wants, so they are fine with that. I don't think God is fine with it at all.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #84
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I think you are perhaps still missing my point (not to take away from yours).
No, not at all, I'm not missing your point.

I'm just fitting it into my own value system. After all, isn't that what is meant by "LC Discussions" in the truest sense? And you wouldn't want me to take your word just because you said so, would you?

Actually I have taken this maxim to heart in these recent years even before you wrote this. One such arena common to nearly all Christians is tithing. Every church I visit, presents this as a given article of the faith. I cannot believe it, and have rejected it. One prominent minister, though not unique, claims that tithing is our covenant with God. Our blessing as children of God hinges on our commitment to faithfully tithe. I won't believe it just because my pastor, or the many teach it. In fact I believe exhortations to tithe are manipulative and self serving in nature, and often breed corruption.

I use this as just one example of my "not believing things to go along to get along, to show my "oneness," to show I am a team player, or because I respect the source." I will not believe it until I "know it is true."
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #85
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It's a tough row to hoe.

We should be imitators of certain ones. We should follow those that we determine are truly following Christ. It is unhealthy to go it completely alone.

Yet we should also be on guard as we watch for wolves in sheep's clothing. As we see the evidence of mishandling of the word and misuse/abuse of the trust of the flock. That even means don't just accept that what someone calls a wolf is so because they may be doing the old misdirect. The old bait-and-switch.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #86
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No, not at all, I'm not missing your point.
I'm glad to see we understand each other.

What set this off in me is I noticed recently I still have this thing in me that thinks I'm supposed to believe things just because my leaders say them, as if that's part of honoring them. I noticed how it makes me feel compromised and resentful, even though I wasn't always aware I was having those feelings.

I think you can still be supportive of leaders without having to believe their take on everything. I have great respect and admiration for my pastor, but I disagree with him on much. He doesn't need me to pretend I agree with him, though I once thought that was a duty of mine.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #87
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Never believe anything just because someone else does.
How would you apply this?

For example there is a major shift taking place in the Learning standards in school. This is extremely disruptive. It may be an improvement, it may be a just another failed initiative, or it may be a waste of time.

Regardless, I don't really have the option to "believe" it or not. Do I really need to spend my time deciding whether or not I "believe it" which would time and research I don't have and haven't done. Or should I focus my attention on preparing for the changes since it appears this has already been dictated from on high?

Take an army. Soldiers are trained not to question authority because in the midst of battle indecision is far worse than good execution of a poor strategy. The time to decide whether or not a leader made good choices is for historians, not in the midst of battle. Everyone thought MacArthur was an idiot at the time for his Landing at Inchon, yet historians now consider it the most brilliant military maneuver in history. USS Grant deciding to go through the swamp was also not appreciated until everyone was looking in hindsight.

This is also true of any team sports competition. Bart Starr called a "dummy" in the final minutes of the ice bowl, leaving Lilly unblocked. Does the running back decide he isn't going to "believe that"? If the play doesn't work Starr is an idiot. If it works he goes to the hall of fame.

How about my kids? I gave them explicit directions on what to do and what to study when I home schooled them. All the while their mother is on the phone screaming from Taiwan that I was an idiot. Other family members were trying to take custody of the kids. If the kids had chosen not to follow my directions then it would have fulfilled their mother's prophecy of doom. Fortunately the kids followed my instructions with great success.

So again, I cannot see how this would be applied.

Soldiers in the army had to trust MacArthur or Grant. My kids had to trust me. The Green Bay Packers had to trust Bart Starr.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #88
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So again, I cannot see how this would be applied.
Don't apply it then. I never said my advice is for everyone.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #89
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When it comes to things that are not important and core in the faith, I don't have a problem with following. For one thing, following or not following is not a matter of "the faith."

And even now, I find that I will follow certain ones. But I have spent some time vetting them. True, as ZNP points out, few of us have the true resources to really get into the nitty gritty of doctrines other theologically important things. But like a lot of things, seeing if something is right is often easier than figuring something out from scratch in the first place.

And that is the reason that I am not my own theologian. At least not as a source of theology. But I have discovered that reasonable sources in theology will provide their underpinnings and their reasoning. Even Lee did that to some degree, but with a difference we were expected to simply take his word for it and not look too closely at the man behind the curtain.

But when it is all out there and you are free to review it, you can read the words both the scripture and the words of the teacher and assess it. We may not be able to come up with it for ourselves, but it is often quite obvious when something just does not "follow."

Nee and Lee aren't the only teachers/theologians that fail so much of the tests. There are some significant younger theologians of the "emergent" movement as well as some other peculiar sects that are in that camp.

And even some specific teachers that work from within somewhat mainstream evangelicalism are, at least at times, questionable.

And just like in the LRC, sometimes a local leader can be special in the midst of mediocrity or even what is otherwise a mess. Or a local leader can be a definite "miss" in the midst of an otherwise great organization. (Don't get distracted with the term "organization.")

So, I find that I can do reasonable critique without doing heavy theological research.

While I find the NT theme of the Christian life and the church as an army as not the predominant one, I agree that there is a need to follow someone. Ultimately, we all follow someone. But unlike getting drafted, we have a choice concerning what Christian teachers/leaders we line up behind. And you don't necessarily have to do a lot of research for it.

In the case of Lee, the constant urging to just accept his word; turn off your mind; don't consult any alternate resources; etc., should have been a really big danger sign. It should have pushed us to look closer.

Maybe we don't have all the resources we need. But we have enough to suggest looking elsewhere.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #90
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One thing that the LC taught us was that when someone was teaching we had to take it extremely seriously and basically believe everything that was said. We were sort of like employees of a sales company who were required to run with whatever line the sales manager was feeding us, whether it made sense or not.

I don't look at teachers that way anymore. Like I said, how many more new beliefs do I need at this point? Do I need to go to church every week and sit on the edge of my seat waiting for some new thing to come down from the oracle and then instantly believe it because he's the oracle? No. Mostly I listen for a couple of points a message that really stick out. I also often just get blessed by the overall sentiment of the speaker. A general encouragement occurs. If God speaks to me, it's a good day. If not, at least there was the worship and general encouragement.

I listen to my pastor. If God speaks to me through him, I listen. If not, I forget about it. I suppose if God stops speaking to me through him I'd start to think about moving on. But that hasn't happened yet. But I don't feel I need to pretend what he teaches is any more than it is just because he's my pastor and I'm supposed to "follow" him. It is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't. And that varies from message to message.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:35 PM   #91
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I listen to my pastor. If God speaks to me through him, I listen. If not, I forget about it.
Why didn't you have that attitude in the LRC? I heard many talk about how after 10, 20, 30 years the Lord shined a light on some verse or teaching. I took the same attitude. If I didn't understand something I just figured the Lord could speak to me on that later.

No one ever checked up on me to see if I was following the latest teaching. I lived in corporate living and the other three brothers never kept tabs. We were far too busy living our lives.

If you didn't care about being in "the club" what power did they have over you? They were zealous after you that you might be zealous after them, but not in a good way.

The desire to "be in the club" is to be a respecter of persons and according to James that is evil. You cannot respect one person in the church without despising another. Once I saw that the same people that were held in high esteem in the church were the same ones that despised the one's that helped me the most I was inoculated.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #92
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Why didn't you have that attitude in the LRC?
Because I was young and stupid.

Next question?
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #93
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Because I was young and stupid.
I still don't agree with this.

"Young and naive" I like better, because it shows that we were vulnerable to those who never should have taken advantage of us. I will always place the most responsibility on the church leaders, because that's what the Bible teaches.

It's kind of like interrogating victims of child abuse -- why didn't you do something, like call the police or fight back? The reason is simple. Because children should not ever need any defense against their own parents. Homes and families ... and churches ... should be the safest places on the planet.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:16 AM   #94
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Why didn't you have that attitude in the LRC?
Don't forget, ZNP. That the atmosphere in Texas was much more authoritarian. I was naive, as Ohio said. I took everything the "brothers" said to heart. I wanted to be a good brother. So if they taught something, I tried my best to believe it, even if it didn't add up. I often questioned things, but I would take the brunt of dissonance in myself. Instead of saying, "This doesn't make any sense, so I'm going to forget it," I would think there was something wrong with me.

That's my point. That attitude messed me up. Some of it was just personality. A lot of people have natural "street sense." I must have been home sick the day God handed that out because I never had much. I had to develop it on my own. Still it amazes me that young people will often naturally have more sense than I still do.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:01 AM   #95
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I took everything the "brothers" said to heart. I wanted to be a good brother. So if they taught something, I tried my best to believe it, even if it didn't add up. I often questioned things, but I would take the brunt of dissonance in myself. Instead of saying, "This doesn't make any sense, so I'm going to forget it," I would think there was something wrong with me.
Both WL and TC were masters at this. We dared not think that anything was deficient in their ministry or leadership, and we were continually programmed to bear all the responsibility for failures. With that responsibility came feelings of failure, incompetence, and questions about our own worth, combined with renewed efforts to improve, be the more faithful, and overcome our many shortcomings. This cycle of guilt and rededication took its toll on our joy, to say the least.

I remember one meeting that helped to preserve me. It occurred in the wake of the "New Way." Great swelling reports of success arrived continually from Taiwan and around the globe, yet the GLA saw limited success. Actually we were just a little more honest in our assessments. Then one older brother said something I never forgot, "the new way works if you are the right person."

Wait a minute. Hold the bus! The right person? If I was a failure at the new way it would be quite understandable, but he was one of the most well-respected brothers in the room and things were not going well for him either. If he was not the "right person," then none of us were! Perhaps what WL has been presenting to us, is really not from the Lord after all. Perhaps the problem was not us, but him and his ministry.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:30 AM   #96
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Both WL and TC were masters at this. We dared not think that anything was deficient in their ministry or leadership, and we were continually programmed to bear all the responsibility for failures. With that responsibility came feelings of failure, incompetence, and questions about our own worth, combined with renewed efforts to improve, be the more faithful, and overcome our many shortcomings. This cycle of guilt and rededication took its toll on our joy, to say the least.

I remember one meeting that helped to preserve me. It occurred in the wake of the "New Way." Great swelling reports of success arrived continually from Taiwan and around the globe, yet the GLA saw limited success. Actually we were just a little more honest in our assessments. Then one older brother said something I never forgot, "the new way works if you are the right person."

Wait a minute. Hold the bus! The right person? If I was a failure at the new way it would be quite understandable, but he was one of the most well-respected brothers in the room and things were not going well for him either. If he was not the "right person," then none of us were! Perhaps what WL has been presenting to us, is really not from the Lord after all. Perhaps the problem was not us, but him and his ministry.
By a lucky coincidence I missed all these reports because I was in Taipei where we were seeing all of that "success" first hand. I was on a 3 person team, the brother I was with was from Austin and had baptized over 400 people. Yet the training and Taipei had not seen "abiding" fruit. Everyone at the training was desperate that if they didn't get "abiding" fruit then everything was for naught, especially the brother on this team since his success was now being questioned.

Now we did have success, but we ignored everything the training provided. I knew the brothers who were putting together these home meeting messages and knew I would never trust my new ones to their care, so why bother using their materials. The brother who baptized 400 was awesome at sending new ones to our bible study and then I would send the most promising of these with a sister to a home meeting at the church. Since this was an all male campus for graduate students in Engineering he labored by himself at night (I was working at night). The sister was awesome at organizing home meetings every day of the week to fit the new ones schedule. She also had the strongest chinese of all of us. Door knocking identified seekers who were then invited to a "free Bible study" which was also seen as an opportunity to practice English. I then filtered out the seekers from those wishing to learn english, and a sister shepherded them to a home meeting of the saints. We had great success. You can call it the "new way" if you want, but it just seemed like laboring in the gospel when the fields were white. The brother labored at night, I labored in the afternoon and the sister would arrive at the end of the Bible study to take 5 or 6 new ones to a home meeting.

I think the worst thing about the "New Way" is that it wasn't a patient work. I had spent 3 years prior to this experience preaching the gospel virtually every day because I was being shepherded by a brother who preached the gospel every day. We were never concerned about "results". Our thought was that preaching the gospel was the thing to do. We enjoyed it and we grew from the experience. Also, we did get new ones added regularly. But there were many positive benefits other than numbers. For example, we would have a pole with a clothespin on the end. We would attach a track to it and then hand out these tracts from the car while driving to the meeting. It was great fun and by the time we got to the meeting we were having a blast. I felt our gospel influenced the atmosphere on the campus in a very positive way. But all the New Way cared about were "numbers". The problem with that is that you can spend a year preaching the gospel every day and only get one or two new ones a year. That is still exponential growth an an astronomical rate (100% growth, 50% growth). So the problem is that if people who don't like to preach the gospel create "a new way" it isn't about the gospel, it isn't about speaking to people about Jesus or leading people to pray. It is about creating an assembly line of new people to come into the Church and begin tithing. So to my impression the people who "designed" the new way didn't really enjoy the gospel and they were not gifted evangelists. Some of the people who went to the training were gifted evangelists and shepherds. However, most of them didn't know the brothers who were creating the materials so they naturally accepted those materials as being useful, hence their lack of success.

I knew EM and KR, I had seen their "gospel work" in action. The idea that they thought they were qualified to design materials was, to my perception, an insult. Instead of selecting people who had actually demonstrated success they chose brothers who had never demonstrated anything but being a toady.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #97
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I knew EM and KR, I had seen their "gospel work" in action. The idea that they thought they were qualified to design materials was, to my perception, an insult. Instead of selecting people who had actually demonstrated success they chose brothers who had never demonstrated anything but being a toady.
A toady?

You mean they fancied the fast track to glory by reeling off footnotes?
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #98
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Why didn't you have that attitude in the LRC?
Not being among the front-runners for youngest elder ever, I probably did have that attitude some.


But just because we can say that in one context does not mean that it is equally applicable in every context. If that is all it takes, then there is no reason for Paul to ever say anything about bad teachers. He could depend on the flock just ignoring the junk and taking the good. Sort of like getting rid of the feathers and bones and eating the chicken.

I expect my "chicken" to be served mostly ready-to-eat. I'm not saying no thought at all. But unless we are going to start with the idea that the meal will need some personal processing, I expect to be able to eat it.

There is a big difference between finding my "meal" inside of a complete and otherwise wholesome table of food and finding my meal on a table where not everything is what it seems to be and we are essentially encouraged to eat some of the plastic fruit on the coffee table.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #99
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Don't forget, ZNP. That the atmosphere in Texas was much more authoritarian. I was naive, as Ohio said. I took everything the "brothers" said to heart. I wanted to be a good brother. So if they taught something, I tried my best to believe it, even if it didn't add up. I often questioned things, but I would take the brunt of dissonance in myself. Instead of saying, "This doesn't make any sense, so I'm going to forget it," I would think there was something wrong with me.

That's my point. That attitude messed me up. Some of it was just personality. A lot of people have natural "street sense." I must have been home sick the day God handed that out because I never had much. I had to develop it on my own. Still it amazes me that young people will often naturally have more sense than I still do.
Southern California doesn't seem as authoritarian as my fellows posters from Texas have posted on, but I identify with Igzy. I thought something was wrong with me. Because I wasn't so spiritual. Things I was told didn't register with me inwardly. Yet I knew to question the brothers would be received as being rebellious. To ask "why" was a word not readily received. In my adolesence and into early adulthood my concept was off. Instead of searching scripture to validate the outward situations, I looked to brothers to answer questions.

Reading ZNP's posts I see the practical importance of being grounded in the Word. You don't get deceived by man's folly. Ever hear the phrase "be courageous"? This what the Word does. It strengthens you inwardly.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:26 PM   #100
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Default Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Southern California doesn't seem as authoritarian as my fellows posters ...
It's obvious from history that WL was a contradiction of values. Especially in his latter days, he loved the fawning of loyal sycophants who regularly massaged his huge ego, but on the other hand, he also wanted results, and longed to leave a lasting legacy supposedly rising above anything Christianity has ever had to offer. These two paradigms regularly clashed. TC was totally unique in that he survived raging internal turmoils, jealous rivalries and political backbiting, for so long. WL surrounded himself with lackluster loyalists who did little but produce more of Laodicea (and lots and lots of books,) yet someone as productive and independent as TC was needed to provide increase and a future to his program.

TC was sufficiently informed and pragmatic to realize that blind and ardent followers of WL provided little lasting value to the Recovery. He himself walked the narrow line between studying the Bible directly and yet always providing the appearance of loyalty to WL's ministry. Hence TC nurtured many gifted brothers, privately allowing them some independence from ministry mandates, not so much because he genuinely cared for their growth, but because he realized the dismal failure of toady minions, (to borrow ZNP's descriptor.)

John Myer was the most recent of these gifted ones, allowed to have limited independence, only to have TC yank the reigns after John's subservience grew thin. John was just the latest to vividly expose the paradigm clash which will always exist in LC leadership. They want to dominate and they want fruit, and those two conditions just do not coexist very well together. The rules of this anomaly become well known over time to all the players. For example, every LC member is well versed in the liberty of the Spirit, proclaiming its merits high and wide, yet to those in responsibility, they know that the liberty they enjoy has a leash only as long as their superior's dictates.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:59 PM   #101
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I mentioned in my first post on Local Church Discussions three years ago that a dream was a factor in my decision to finally leave “The Lords Recovery” (TLR). I had always taken the dream as a personal thing to encourage me to end my on and off and on again participation in it after 10 years of trying to change it from within.

However, recently I’ve begun to think that maybe the dream and its interpretation (as I’ve come to understand it) might be helpful for others who are still struggling with what to do with TLR (whether inside or out of it). So I’m going to share it here. This post will give background and the dream, and the next post will give an interpretation of the dream.

Background for Context:
I was unsaved when I was about 18 years old and had just started going to college and met a “local church” brother who was attending the college. My twin brother, who had been saved about a year before that and had been attending a different church also met the brother, and together we were invited to various meetings of “Christians on Campus” and “The Church in _____” in the city we lived in. Over the course of a year, my brother started attending “The Church in _____”, and I received the Lord Jesus and started attending as well along with my Christian girlfriend (who many years later I married). Initially my experience in TLR was very good. Our meetings were filled with the Holy Spirit, God and Christ were exalted, and “the saints” loved and supported each other. There was a lot of legalism that was strangling many of the saints, however. And, we overly exalted Witness Lee and Watchman Nee and their writings, were completely isolated from other believers (and scorned them).
After seven years there was a split in the church regarding one of the elders, and I left along with about a dozen saints who felt the matter wasn’t handled well. For another 15 years I would periodically try to attend local church meetings and conferences in my city and in Anaheim, and continued to read many Living Stream Ministry materials. I continued to like and agree with Witness Lee and Watchman Nee’s writings, but was turned off by the deadness of many of the meetings I attended. I knew they were dead, I just didn’t know why. I thought it was related to the leaders who were taking over the leadership of TLR, some of whom were involved in what I thought was mishandling of the elder situation in my locality. I never stopped reading the Bible or praying, in fact I prayed more that the situation in my locality and in the recovery at large would be healed, and I studied the Bible closely to see if I could figure out the problem. Being away from TLR was tremendously liberating as far as getting away from legalism and seeing life in other Christians outside of it. And, I gradually began to see some errors in Witness Lee’s teachings.
Meanwhile I moved for business reasons to another city that didn’t have “a local church”. So, my wife and I and children started attending a community church in that city. After about five years, however, I found out that “local church” saints were meeting in that city as “The Church in ____”. I decided to try it out, and again was turned off by the deadness and legalism, and this time by the constant “trashing” of “Christianity”. But, I thought “I’m going to give this the benefit of the doubt (in case I’ve been wrong all along) and see if I can work on fixing the problems I saw from the inside.” So I began attending “the church in _____” again, and tried repeatedly to work with leaders I knew to try to work to change it from within.
Meanwhile my brother had continued in TLR the whole time, though he had moved to a different city. We had already had a number of unpleasant arguments about what was happening in TLR. He was fully convinced that the leadership was OK, and I wasn’t.
My wife and I had discussed the problem in TLR and had identified the trashing of Christianity as one of the big problems, and though I brought it up with the elders, it was allowed to continue.
I really didn’t know what to do. I had tried the community church and “TLR” and wasn’t satisfied with either. The community church was less legalistic and didn’t exalt itself, its leaders, or its ministry. But, the large meetings didn’t provide opportunities for calling songs, prayer, or testifying with praise, which I enjoyed doing in TLR.

The Dream:
In 2014, while I was attending both churches on and off, I had a dream one night that was very strange. I immediately knew it wasn’t something to be ignored, and might be inspired by God to give me some direction to solve my quandary. I didn’t immediately understand it. Here is the dream:
I was walking over humpy land with dry dead grasses that had a barbed wire fence running along it and had the sense of deep dissatisfaction and spiritual searching.
Then I came to a building that was in an elevated area. The building was very large and had a cold institutional feeling to it. Parked in rows outside of the building in its parking lot I saw many yellow school busses that all had huge “monster wheels” on them. I had seen these types of busses used to give people tours of the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada. Yet, even in my dream I laughed at their strange appearance and noted the strangeness. The building’s double doors were open, so I went inside.
Immediately I noticed the building had three or more stories, and it was supported on the inside with very tall and overly thin columns (pillars). Many people were inside of the building.
My brother was inside of the building near one of the pillars. Then the ground began to shake violently. The pillars were swaying and starting to crack. The building also was starting to crack and collapse. My brother and I both grabbed a pillar and tried to steady it. This went on for a while, but it was apparent to me that the situation was hopeless. The pillars were going to fail, the building was going to come down, and the people inside (including my brother and I) were in imminent danger. I told my brother that we needed to get out and others should too. But, he disagreed and continued to try to steady the pillar as it and the whole building continued to shake, crack, and crumble.
Frustrated, I ran out of the building and down the hill the building was situated on. As I walked down the hill I noticed I was entering a neighborhood in a city built in the valley below the hill. Strangely, there was a fire station built into the side of the hill. The fire station’s garage doors were open, and I noticed that it had both fire engines and ambulances. I could tell that first responders from this station were equipped and ready to respond to emergencies, including the collapsing building I had just fled from. I also had the sense that this was the place I was searching for, and not the institutional building I had just fled. Then I woke up with a sense that this was a message for me.

Next post: The Interpretation of the Dream
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:20 AM   #102
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Immediately I noticed the building had three or more stories, and it was supported on the inside with very tall and overly thin columns (pillars). Many people were inside of the building.
My brother was inside of the building near one of the pillars. Then the ground began to shake violently. The pillars were swaying and starting to crack. The building also was starting to crack and collapse. My brother and I both grabbed a pillar and tried to steady it. This went on for a while, but it was apparent to me that the situation was hopeless. The pillars were going to fail, the building was going to come down, and the people inside (including my brother and I) were in imminent danger. I told my brother that we needed to get out and others should too. But, he disagreed and continued to try to steady the pillar as it and the whole building continued to shake, crack, and crumble.
Frustrated, I ran out of the building and down the hill the building was situated on.
This much of the dream is pretty obvious! Yep thats my experience too. I saw dozens and dozens of cracked and wavering 'pillars', only 2-3 that were actually solid. The Hirams in the recovery were doing a pretty shoddy job!
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:58 PM   #103
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That was very good! Although I think I know where this is going, I'm greatly anticipating the conclusion! Thanks for breaking it into two parts; may three or four???
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:35 PM   #104
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Interpretation of The Dream that Helped me Finally Leave “The Lords Recovery” I'll break into pieces for readibility (Good suggestion)

Regarding the interpretation first let me say that I put much more stock in God’s Word, the Holy Bible, than I do dreams for guidance. And, I hope you do too. But, God has provided guidance for people in the Bible through dreams, so I’m not going to rule them out either.
As I mentioned, I had this dream in 2014. Over the next year or so I kept remembering it, and suspected it was an encouragement from the Lord to leave TLR. Then during that same year I found that when confronted with decisions regarding how The Church in ______ (in my city) should run, the elders were taking their orders from the brothers who were running The Living Stream Ministry, and were not consulting scripture nor looking to Jesus Christ “the head of the body” for guidance.
Then at the last “blending conference” I attended the church leaders openly said they were relying on “The Interpreted Word (Living Stream Ministry writings)” rather than upon the Bible itself as our written guide for the Christian life.
At that point, in 2015 I did make the decision to leave TLR, but it helped to have a nudge from the dream I had the year before.

My understanding (interpretation of the dream) actually emerged more in the years after I left.
So here is the first part of the dream again, along with some links to web sites with pictures that help to illustrate what I saw in my dream, and [my interpretation in brackets]
I was walking over humpy land with dry dead grasses (https://nancyaruegg.files.wordpress..../munttar17.jpg that had a barbed wire fence running along it side http://www.featheredphotography.com/...n-barbed-wire/ (second picture, not the one with the owl on it) and had the sense of deep dissatisfaction and spiritual searching. [This represented my search for what to do with my life.]
Then I came to a building that was in an elevated area. The building was very large and had a cold institutional feeling to it. http://www.theindependent.sg/unpleas...y-on-steroids/
[This building is “The Lords Recovery Church”. My brother and I had been recruited into. Cold and institutional. The “Splendid Church Life” song “it is not a school or factory or a chapel in the air, but a garden where our Lord can plant and sow”…. Wrong! It is factory-school! training unsuspecting students brought in by the bus load and turning them into Witness Lee clones.]

Parked in rows outside of the building in its parking lot I saw many yellow school busses that all had huge “monster wheels” on them. http://www.breakfastinamerica.me/wp-...123214-web.jpg had seen these types of busses used to give people tours of the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada. Yet, even in my dream I laughed at their strange appearance and noted the strangeness.
[The school busses represent the local churches’ recruiting practices at schools, designed to bring large numbers of young people into, what turns out to be a trap! The monster wheels illustrate the disproportionate focus on this recruitment practice that is overblown and grotesque versus genuine gospel preaching to whosoever will.]

More parts of the dream later.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:35 PM   #105
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Continuing "Interpretation of The Dream that Helped me Finally Leave “The Lords Recovery” next piece:

The building’s double doors were open, so I went inside. Immediately I noticed the building had three or more stories, and it was supported on the inside with very tall and overly thin columns (pillars).
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Location..._Columbia.html The first picture that can be selected below the picture that comes up on this site is like the view I had in my dream. Many people were inside of the building. [Other TLR church members]. Note the pillars in my dream were thinner than the ones in the pictures, yet just as tall. Structural engineers will tell you that it is unsafe structurally to do this (I’ve had some structural engineering classes that teach column design).
[The pillars represent the structural supports of TLR Church, their “pillars” who are Watchman Nee and Witness Lee and their ministries. They and their ministries were too tall, high minded, versus their actual strength, and thus could not uphold the church properly.]

My brother was inside of the building near one of the pillars. [I already told you my brother also is in TLR and we were both laboring to try to make it work in our localities at the time.]

Then the ground began to shake violently.
[I think this represents God’s testing of TLR. It may have already been going on while I was there, or may be an upcoming event. But, I already had a sense that God was going to judge the insulting of Christ's headship and of His body members I was observing if something doesn't change, and had told one of the elders in my locality that.]

The pillars were swaying and starting to crack. [The ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee could not hold up under God’s testing]

The building also was starting to crack and collapse. [The church they had built was going to fall apart under God’s testing.]

My brother and I both grabbed a pillar and tried to steady it. This went on for a while, but it was apparent to me that the situation was hopeless. [The work my brother and I were doing from within TLR wasn’t going to work. The pillars were going to fail, the building was going to come down, and the people inside (including my brother and I) were in imminent danger.]

I told my brother that we needed to get out and others should too. But, he disagreed and continued to try to steady the pillar as it and the whole building continued to shake, crack, and crumble. [I think this represents the arguments we had had over local church leadership, and that he wasn’t going to listen to me, but I needed to get out myself]

If you think my interpretation is off for any portion of my dream, please let me know. One more post to finish the interpretation... later.
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:57 PM   #106
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If you think my interpretation is off for any portion of my dream, please let me know. One more post to finish the interpretation... later.
This is pretty much how I read it when you first wrote it
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:03 PM   #107
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Adapting to a non-LC church
Don’t expect your new pastor to expect you to get permission from him for every little thing. If you want to see a totally quizzical look, just ask your new pastor if it’s okay to go on vacation and miss couple of weekends of meetings. In short, don’t expect him to lord it over you the way LC elders did.
Yikes folks, I was in the LC from 1970-1980 and never had to get permission for every little thing as Igzy mentions. It never even entered my mind to ask! What localities did this happen in?
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:34 AM   #108
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Thanks for the feedback, Bradley. I hope things are going well with you, and your faith, hope, and love in the Lord Jesus remains strong.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:45 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Adapting to a non-LC church
Don’t expect your new pastor to expect you to get permission from him for every little thing. If you want to see a totally quizzical look, just ask your new pastor if it’s okay to go on vacation and miss couple of weekends of meetings. In short, don’t expect him to lord it over you the way LC elders did.
Yikes folks, I was in the LC from 1970-1980 and never had to get permission for every little thing as Igzy mentions. It never even entered my mind to ask! What localities did this happen in?
Putting aside Igzy's hyperbole about "every little thing," I could confirm that LC leaders definitely invaded every important decision in my life. I only enjoyed the "liberty of the Spirit" when living according to their plan for my life.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:42 AM   #110
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Yikes folks, I was in the LC from 1970-1980 and never had to get permission for every little thing as Igzy mentions. It never even entered my mind to ask! What localities did this happen in?
I found Igzy's entire quote from several years ago. Maybe the best succinct list of it's kind ever posted on this popcorn stand! I think most of us who were in the Local Church of Witness Lee for any length of time can relate to these points. To be sure, some might have experienced these in different degrees, depending upon their locality, the elders and the different brothers and sisters they may have been closer to.
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Adapting to a non-LC church

I wanted to go on to talk about finding a new church after leaving the LC. I intentionally didn’t mention church much in my first post. The fact is, the view of the church is distorted in the LC, and in so doing the believer’s relationship to it is distorted as well.

The LC makes the believer’s involvement with the building of the church a matter of prime importance. But the Bible does not make this emphasis. In fact, Jesus himself barely mentioned the church. When the Bible does mention church-building, it is usually with the thought that God is doing the building, not us.

If you really go back and view the overall thought of the NT, especially the ministry of Jesus, you see that two main matters are stressed--first, our devotion and service to God, and second, our attitude and actions toward other people. Jesus focused on a holy life toward God and people. (Again, love God and love people.) But he barely mentioned the church as a thing or goal in and of itself.

This is not to say the church is not important, just that if you are supposedly taking care of the church while suing the pants off any other believer you please it’s clear you are way off the rails of what the NT is about. History and experience show that overemphasis on the church leads naturally to overemphasis and a defensive, even aggressive, posture about your particular church. This is precisely the error of the LC.

I think this is the reason Jesus did not talk about the church much, because to him the point is God and people, not God and some ideal institution.

Still, the Bible does reveal the church, so what is it about? The church is simply wherever believers are gathered in the Lord’s name. The church is all the believers through history. It’s also all the believers alive today. It’s also all the believers in the USA, and all of them in your city. And when thirty believers gather for worship and teaching in a rented storefront, that’s the church, too. None of us have the right or wisdom to look at a group of believers meeting and say they are not the church.

The church is a place where believers encourage and support each other, and grow together. It’s also a place where outsiders can observe these believers and their relationship with God. So in a sense, churches are ministry stations, that is of Jesus’ ministry. They do not exist for themselves, but for the sake of others, both believers and non-believers. And they come in all shapes and sizes.

After you leave the LC and are searching for a new church home, here are some things to think about:
  1. Expect all levels of devotion. You'll meet some very devoted Christians in your new church, and you'll meet some that rarely read the Bible. You'll hear about affairs and divorces and guys that go to Hooters on business lunches. In short, it will probably be the church in Corinth. Guess what? Corinth was still a church. Learn to operate under the big tent of the whole church. You really don't have a choice, unless you want to start another superstar exclusive church that tries to run off everyone who is not 100%, like the LC did. But then where would you be? Yep, right back where you started.

  2. Don’t expect the emphasis on The Church that you saw in the LC. Evangelical Christianity is called that for a reason. The emphasis there is on outreach and being a testimony. This is very healthy. Don’t expect to convert anyone to the Nee/Lee view of it all being about producing the Bride. Let God worry about the Bride and you worry about loving and serving people who need Jesus.

    And don’t be bothered if you find that churches emphasize particular works, like overseas mission work, etc. As long as they don’t make participation in such work a requirement of membership you shouldn’t have much to worry about. But don’t expect their emphasis to be The Building of the Church. For one thing, in evangelical circles these days this is looked upon as being inward-looking and self-centered. And the fact is, it is.

  3. Don’t expect the emphasis on spirituality you saw in the LC. By that I mean don’t start talking about things like “the Triune God in the tripartite man” and expect people to go “Ooooo, wow!” Rather, if you do that expect them to start backing away from you and saying, “Okeee, time to go.”

    Expect God to be presented as more personal and everyday. Experienced pastors aren’t stupid. They know that high-falutin’ spirituality sounds pretentious and makes new people uncomfortable. Expect things to be understated and referred to in everyday terms. You will hear more about “changed lives” than you will about “being infused with the divine nature.” Don’t let that bother you. God is working regardless of how it’s referred to.

  4. Don’t be bothered by the lack of “popcorn” testimonies. Despite the LC’s oft-stated belief that such a thing is necessary for the church to be built, the fact is, it isn’t. An LCer posted on the other forum that the church could not be built in “Christianity” because the “members of the Body” were not allowed to function there. By “functioning” he meant hopping up and saying something in a meeting, usually just regurgitating something that was taught. This kind of “functioning,” however, opens the door to all kinds of problems in large gatherings with many guests. We could argue all day whether it’s tenable, but what’s not arguable is that such a thing is required for legitimate churchhood. It isn’t. Expect to be free to share in Bible studies, Sunday schools, small groups and so forth. Don’t expect it, or worry about it, in larger meetings.

  5. Don’t expect people to talk about the message after the service. It just doesn’t happen much. People listen and take in the message seriously, but they rarely discuss it in depth afterwards. Don’t expect a lot of “I really enjoyed….” Rather, expect “How are the kids doing?” and more typical conversation. It’s just the way it is. Learn to be human and get to know your new friends.

    Also, don't expect everyone you don't know to look you in the eye and say "Praise the Lord!" Expect people to have the more typical behavior of not acting like they know you when they don't. It doesn't mean they don't love you, it just means they are normal. Just be friendly yourself and before long people will be greeting you, though probably not with a "Praise the Lord!" Get over it.

  6. Don’t expect your new pastor to expect you to get permission from him for every little thing. If you want to see a totally quizzical look, just ask your new pastor if it’s okay to go on vacation and miss couple of weekends of meetings. In short, don’t expect him to lord it over you the way LC elders did.

    If you want to start a work or ministry, I’m sure they will be supportive of it, though they may not want to work it into the Sunday morning rotation. This one messed with me for a long time. I was just uncomfortable “doing my own thing.” Yet, the only alternative was to get the church leaders fully onboard with it. (Not to mention to take time to even talk about it.) Finally, I realized they did not expect every legitimate work to be under the umbrella of their approval or notice. If I felt to start something, it was okay with them, but they couldn’t always dedicate church resources to it.

    This is actually quite liberating, not to mention normal. But it is very different from the way things are done in the LC. Which makes one wonder how LCers can make the claim that it's in "Christianity" where the members are suppressed. Such logic is just way over my head.
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:51 PM   #111
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Thanks for the feedback, Bradley. I hope things are going well with you, and your faith, hope, and love in the Lord Jesus remains strong.
Yep I'm great thanks. I still love the Lord, but not very focused - my time is more prioritised with my startup business, learning to dance (bachata & kizomba) and meeting women. Never left the faith tho.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:33 AM   #112
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To be sure, some might have experienced these in different degrees, depending upon their locality, the elders and the different brothers and sisters.
Also note that it wasn't typically presented on the terms Igzy used. Typically it was called "fellowship"; as in, "Don't do anything without the covering of fellowship."

But fellowship, commonly understood, implies some form of mutuality, and reciprocalty. In the LC, the "fellowship" only flowed one way.

Two anecdotes: first was when my elder tried to hold a conference on one of Witness Lee's books. He was shut down by Anaheim. He got "fellowship": to re-speak the latest Blended speaking.

Second was a conversation with another elder, years later. He noted the LC members were passive, and inert, unwilling to take any initiative whatever.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:31 PM   #113
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Yep I'm great thanks. I still love the Lord, but not very focused - my time is more prioritised with my startup business, learning to dance (bachata & kizomba) and meeting women. Never left the faith tho.
Thanks for the update, Bradley. I'm praying for you.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:37 PM   #114
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Continuing "Interpretation of The Dream that Helped me Finally Leave “The Lords Recovery” last piece

Frustrated, I ran out of the building and down the hill the building was situated on. As I walked down the hill I noticed I was entering a neighborhood in a city built in the valley below the hill. Strangely, there was a fire station built into the side of the hill. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/44491 The fire station’s garage doors were open, and I noticed that it had both fire engines and ambulances. http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/112...o-trucks-daily I could tell that first responders from this station were equipped and ready to respond to emergencies, including the collapsing building I had just fled from. I also had the sense that this was the place I was searching for, and not the institutional building I had just fled. Then I woke up with a sense that this was a message for me.
[This is the part that was mystified me for a long time. After I flee TLR where do I go? I knew the Lord was telling me there was a place I hadn’t been aware of before that was doing rescue work that could really help. Where was this “firehouse build into the side of a hill with first responders”? Since then, the Lord has shown me that he has groups of Christians in every city who are hidden, and quietly carrying out rescue work for Christians hurt in the collapsing structures of churches built by egocentric “apostles”, who make it all about themselves and their ministries instead of Christ himself. Thankfully, and gratefully I can say that the Lord has led me to three different groups of Christians in three different cities I had not been aware of before (built into Christ the Rock himself and not grandstanding their faith), and to the other believers that frequent local church discussions.com (that I also wasn’t aware of) who carry out the sort of rescue work I forsaw in my dream. I have to say that I was in need of rescue work myself, and by the Lords’ mercy I’ve joined into the rescue work myself.]
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:46 AM   #115
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After I flee TLR where do I go? I knew the Lord was telling me there was a place I hadn’t been aware of before that was doing rescue work that could really help. Where was this “firehouse build into the side of a hill with first responders”? Since then, the Lord has shown me that he has groups of Christians in every city who are hidden, and quietly carrying out rescue work for Christians hurt in the collapsing structures of churches built by egocentric “apostles”, who make it all about themselves and their ministries instead of Christ himself.
Part of the healing process is to see what we're healing from. Egocentric is the right word: Witness Lee told us that he hadn't learned anything from anyone else for 45 years.

Now to the solution. Your dream has power because it's not focused on you but on what the Lord is doing around you, and how to cooperate. The solution, then, is not what you do, but on this vision of what God is doing around you.

And the more you see the marvelous vision of what God is doing around you, the more you're brought in. I believe that the seeing and the entry are inextricably linked.

TLR is based on the rejection of the Other (see, e.g., "fallen and degraded Christianity"), but the gospel is God's love coming to us the alienated and rejected Other in the form of His Beloved Son. This love rescues, reconciles and heals. The vision of this irresistible love becomes our rich entrance. ~2 Peter 1:11

TLR is Self-centered ("eat God and become God") but the gospel is Other-centered ("love your neighbour as yourself"; "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"). As we're brought into affirmation of the work God is doing around us in the formerly despised and rejected Other, God affirms this gospel of peace and reconciliation, and our living becomes our doorway. "In my Father's house are many abodes; if it were not so I would have told you."
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:04 PM   #116
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Here is the LSM lie: The Father is only honored, and the Son only appreciated during the so-called table meeting of the WL LSM local church. He may be honored and appreciated there, but also in many other venues.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:19 PM   #117
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Part of the healing process is to see what we're healing from. Egocentric is the right word: Witness Lee told us that he hadn't learned anything from anyone else for 45 years.

Now to the solution. Your dream has power because it's not focused on you but on what the Lord is doing around you, and how to cooperate. The solution, then, is not what you do, but on this vision of what God is doing around you.

And the more you see the marvelous vision of what God is doing around you, the more you're brought in. I believe that the seeing and the entry are inextricably linked.

TLR is based on the rejection of the Other (see, e.g., "fallen and degraded Christianity"), but the gospel is God's love coming to us the alienated and rejected Other in the form of His Beloved Son. This love rescues, reconciles and heals. The vision of this irresistible love becomes our rich entrance. ~2 Peter 1:11

TLR is Self-centered ("eat God and become God") but the gospel is Other-centered ("love your neighbour as yourself"; "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"). As we're brought into affirmation of the work God is doing around us in the formerly despised and rejected Other, God affirms this gospel of peace and reconciliation, and our living becomes our doorway. "In my Father's house are many abodes; if it were not so I would have told you."
Thanks, Aron. Great insight and feedback. I love the verse you cited. http://biblehub.com/2_peter/1-11.htm I’d never paid much attention to it.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:34 PM   #118
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Here is the LSM lie: The Father is only honored, and the Son only appreciated during the so-called table meeting of the WL LSM local church. He may be honored and appreciated there, but also in many other venues.
I missed the kindness, warmth, and loving heart of the Father somehow while I was in TLR!
I lost focus on Christ being all and in all!
And, my spirit became detached from The Spirit!

I take blame for falling into that, and repent. I say this because I hope others can learn and avoid the trap, and come back to this one!
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:51 PM   #119
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Here is the LSM lie: The Father is only honored, and the Son only appreciated during the so-called table meeting of the WL LSM local church. He may be honored and appreciated there, but also in many other venues.
Not well said. Missed on this one, HERn

The Triune God is honored and appreciated 24x7. Witness Lees ministry is all about the Three-One God more than any I have ever heard. If you missed that you were nodding off. Next time the brothers ask you to sit on the front row get on up there and stay awake.

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Old 02-09-2018, 03:01 AM   #120
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Not well said. Missed on this one, HERn

The Triune God is honored and appreciated 24x7. Witness Lees ministry is all about the Three-One God more than any I have ever heard. If you missed that you were nodding off. Next time the brothers ask you to sit on the front row get on up there and stay awake.

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Old 02-09-2018, 03:20 AM   #121
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Witness Lee's ministry is primarily about himself.
If Lee and the Blindeds would have obeyed some of their own teachings, it would have been a nice place to remain.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:28 AM   #122
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Not well said. Missed on this one, HERn

The Triune God is honored and appreciated 24x7. Witness Lees ministry is all about the Three-One God more than any I have ever heard. If you missed that you were nodding off. Next time the brothers ask you to sit on the front row get on up there and stay awake.

Drake
Drake, I think you mis-understood HERn, or I did. He contrasted TLR meetings with "other venues". The point was that God is honored there (at least in word, if not in deed), but ALSO in other Christian assemblies.

The lie of TLR is that only there does God get honored, and other assemblies not.

So I think you missed on that one. HERn can correct me if I'm wrong.

On an ancillary note, TLR honors the "rich speaking" and the "high peak truths" and "the ministry" far too much, and detracts from God.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:36 AM   #123
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Witness Lee's ministry is primarily about himself.
The thousands of messages contained in books on my shelf about the Triune God, Christ and the Church, The LifeGiving Spirit, the Believers growth in life, the New Jerusalem and well, the list goes on..... all dispute that opinion... but there is not enough time to go over them together in this forum so you’ll just have to actually read it for yourself and ask the Lord to enlighten the eyes of your heart and give you understanding in the full knowledge of Him.

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Old 02-09-2018, 03:42 AM   #124
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Drake, I think you mis-understood HERn, or I did. He contrasted TLR meetings with "other venues". The point was that God is honored there (at least in word, if not in deed), but ALSO in other Christian assemblies.

The lie of TLR is that only there does God get honored, and other assemblies not.

So I think you missed on that one. HERn can correct me if I'm wrong.

On an ancillary note, TLR honors the "rich speaking" and the "high peak truths" and "the ministry" far too much, and detracts from God.

Aron,

I might have misread HERn as you say. But, even so, in the Lords Recovery we do not think the only place on the earth that the Father is being honored or the Son is appreciated is at the Lords table. That is a wrong understanding in both time and space.

HERn, What is the reference for that? Let’s see it in context.

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Old 02-09-2018, 04:18 AM   #125
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The thousands of messages contained in books on my shelf about the Triune God, Christ and the Church, The LifeGiving Spirit, the Believers growth in life, the New Jerusalem and well, the list goes on..... all dispute that opinion... but there is not enough time to go over them together in this forum so you’ll just have to actually read it for yourself and ask the Lord to enlighten the eyes of your heart and give you understanding in the full knowledge of Him.

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I have already read much more than enough of it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:26 AM   #126
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I have already read much more than enough of it.
Then you know whereof I speak... it is obvious those messages are not about Brother Lee....
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:36 AM   #127
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Then you know whereof I speak... it is obvious those messages are not about Brother Lee....
Drake, I have enjoyed Witness Lee's early messages--when the subject was the Lord Jesus, His sweetness, His purpose.

But things took a definite turn at some point. The main emphasis of Witness Lee's later ministry was himself--his work, his authority, and his special role. And this is exactly what characterizes Local Church speaking today. Go and watch the "Ministry Propagation" videos that are posted regularly online, and you will get a taste for the Local Church atmosphere. The subject is practically always Witness Lee, Witness Lee, Witness Lee--his ministry, his books, his special role. Buy the books. Listen to the books. Buy two copies. Buy hard copies. Buy digital copies. Read them every day. Read 10 pages a day. Read 2 pages a day. Books, books, books. Lee, Lee, Lee.

It is not normal.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:14 AM   #128
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I pray for those in the LSM churches to have an experience like Paul.

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day (church kid), of the people of Israel (from Anaheim), of the tribe of Benjamin (son of an elder), a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law (the works of Witness Lee), a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church (Christ's bride outside the walls of the LSM); as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:21 AM   #129
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The thousands of messages contained in books on my shelf about the Triune God, Christ and the Church, The LifeGiving Spirit, the Believers growth in life, the New Jerusalem and well, the list goes on..... all dispute that opinion... but there is not enough time to go over them together in this forum so you’ll just have to actually read it for yourself and ask the Lord to enlighten the eyes of your heart and give you understanding in the full knowledge of Him.

Drake
Why don't you be honest and include the wholesale condemnation of outside Christians in every message?
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:26 AM   #130
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Why don't you be honest and include the wholesale condemnation of outside Christians in every message?
Every message? That’s ridiculous, Ohio.

Pick up the life study of.... let’s say... Genesis. Now tell me out of all those messages how many instances there was “condemnation of outside Christians”.

Furthermore, what you call condemnations of Christians was condemnation of things like denominations or the Roman Church. Anyway, see for yourself.

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Old 02-09-2018, 07:11 AM   #131
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Why don't you be honest and include the wholesale condemnation of outside Christians in every message?
Are you really so desperate my brother.

Have you simply chosen to just completely give yourself to speaking in error (which according to scripture is to speak in the vanity of your mind and therefore to speak dishonestly... Meaning, contrary to the truth).

Unfortunately, it seems that you are utterly unaware of the fact that in your own above erroneous speaking is condemnation of yourself.

Or maybe you have just fallen to a stage where scripture does not matter to you anymore...

Leviticus 19:11... "You shall not steal; neither shall you deceive nor deal falsely with one another."

Proverbs 12:22... "Lying lips are an abomination to Jehovah, But those who deal faithfully are His delight."

Proverbs 13:5... "A righteous man hates what is false, But a wicked man is odious and is confounded."

Proverbs 14:5... "A faithful witness will not lie, But a false witness utters lies."

John 8:44... "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks it out of his own possessions; for he is a liar and the father of it."

Colossians 3:9... "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices..."
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:21 AM   #132
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Every message? That’s ridiculous, Ohio.
Ohio, he is right.

"Denomination" is only mentioned 1,287 times by Witness Lee. Religion is mentioned over 5,500 times by Witness Lee (I got tired of counting). As a way of comparison Mercy is mentioned far less than religion, but similar to the amount of times he uses Denomination.

For example: “Lord, have mercy upon us that in the local church where we are there would not be a spy.” I am not referring to opposers, but to so-called parties in the local church as spies. I must regretfully say that in some localities some spying goes on even at the Lord’s table. (Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 9, Section 3)

Of course you could widen the search -- degraded, Christianity, etc.

But even so I find it hard to believe that you are going to find more than 10,000 messages that condemn Christianity.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #133
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Every message? That’s ridiculous, Ohio.

Pick up the life study of.... let’s say... Genesis. Now tell me out of all those messages how many instances there was “condemnation of outside Christians”.

Furthermore, what you call condemnations of Christians was condemnation of things like denominations or the Roman Church. Anyway, see for yourself.

Drake
Read the Genesis message about Lot! Message #54 or so.

Most pathetic piece of trash ever written about the church!

Lee condemns all those meeting in so-called "free group" house churches as the incestuous children of Lot conceived in caves outside of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Ten years later he decided that home meetings were a great idea.

That is, as long as he got all the glory for them.

Steel, did you read that message in Genesis?
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:36 AM   #134
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Read the Genesis message about Lot! Message #54 or so.

Most pathetic piece of trash ever written about the church!

Lee condemns all those meeting in so-called "free group" house churches as the incestuous children of Lot conceived in caves outside of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So I see you did not appreciate that message.

Well, let's go ahead and allow you to claim message 54 for your argument. I can argue against it... but your argument fails even if you have it.

You said every message. That is your burden of proof. How about messages 1 -53? and 54 onward?

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Old 02-09-2018, 07:37 AM   #135
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Ohio, he is right.

"Denomination" is only mentioned 1,287 times by Witness Lee. Religion is mentioned over 5,500 times by Witness Lee (I got tired of counting).

Of course you could widen the search -- degraded, Christianity, etc.

But even so I find it hard to believe that you are going to find more than 10,000 messages that condemn Christianity.
My bad. I should have said, "nearly every message."
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:48 AM   #136
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I'm quite sure that none of the past few posts are going to "make leaving the Local Church easier". Opening post is another dandy penned by Igzy.

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My desire for posting on this forum has always been simply to help people over the hump of being able to deal psychologically with leaving the LC. Mostly I have done this by arguing that many LC teachings and beliefs are unbiblical, illogical and untenable.

I hope that has been helpful, but I’d like to start a thread to provide some advice for people who are considering leaving or have left and are still having trouble moving on.

Here are some things which I had to learn the hard way. I think they will help you make the transition more easily:
  1. Pray. Pray a lot. The fact is most LCers don’t know how to pray for themselves or their family in a detailed and focused way. This has to be learned if you are going to move on. Get practical and specific with your prayers. Ask God to show you what is real and what is false. Ask him to protect you from spiritual attack. Ask him to fill you with peace and joy. Ask him about specific LC teachings which are holding you back. Ask him about the local ground, spiritual authority and any other teachings you have taken for granted. You’ll be amazed how he opens your eyes.

    There is one mediator between man and God--and it is not Witness Lee, the BBs, Titus Chu, or your former elders or small group leader. It’s Jesus. We have direct access to God. 1 John says we don’t need anyone to teach us. That means God himself will lead us. Call in this promise on your life. Pray about everything. God will answer.

  2. Get to know God. The LC mindset is not truly conducive to getting to know God. God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being. Throw that teaching in the trash. It’s keeping you from knowing God personally. God is a person we can get to know. Eternal life is knowing God. That means getting to know his thoughts, feelings and tendencies. He will communicate these to you if you stop thinking about him all the time as water, bread or a “dose.” Sure in a sense he is all these things. But they are all metaphors for what he is to us personally. First and foremost he is a person. Talk to him and think of him as a person as real and approachable as your wife or best friend. Because he is actually more so that than anyone.

  3. Read the Bible and throw away the footnotes. Read a lot of different Christian authors. Read carefully, but with an open, uncritical mind. Give God a chance to say something to you that you don't expect. Notice how all writers and teachers are a little different and are just expressing their points of view. Then realize that's all Witness Lee was doing, whether or not he thought so himself.

  4. Focus on the first and second commandments. Love God and love people. We all know we are supposed to love God. But LCers have a strange way of loving people. You can’t love people if you treat and think of them as aliens from another planet. I think the best thing for any LCer would be to have a gay couple move in next door and to hear God telling them to love and be good neighbors to that couple (this actually happened to me), to learn to see them as people just like you, because the fact is that’s how God sees them. God loves everyone. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Learn to look at everyone the way God sees them. Love the bum on the street. Love the guy with the bandana, tattoos and piercings. Stop calling them “the unbelievers.” Love Christians of all stripes. Stop calling them "those in Christianity." That’s just elitism and snobbery, and it is not Jesus.

  5. Banish fear and stay positive. Faith and fear have something in common. They both ask us to believe something in the future that we cannot see. Fear is the enemy's tactic. Faith is God's way. When you begin to notice fear creeping around, banish it, and stand in faith that God wants to set you free.

    Tell yourself that you are God’s child and he loves you and has a purpose for you. Don’t give in to negative self-talk or condemnation. Read positive Christian writers like Norman Vincent Peale, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen (yes, Joel Osteen!).

  6. Start at home. If you don’t love your spouse, your kids, your family, friends and neighbors, and serve them like Christ would, then forget about the church. God is practical. Our mission field starts with the person who sleeps with us, then moves to our kids, and so forth. Start there. Be a good spouse and parent. If you can’t do that the rest is just an act anyway. The good news is starting at home is life-sized. Anyone can do it.

  7. Find some new Christian friends and just love them in a simple way. You probably think you are a superior class of Christian and more transformed and so much clearer than all those poor, clueless non-LC Christians, don’t you? Boy, are you in for a shock. You are not near as transformed as you think. In fact, you probably aren’t much transformed at all. I don’t think I experienced any real transformation until recently in my life. Get humble and get some new friends and companions. Let God teach you through them. You might be surprised and probably will be.

  8. Forget about spirituality and high-sounding doctrines, and just live a life of love and service. The fact is the LC is all about being spiritual, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. For example, when the LC thinks of sacrifice they talk about “taking the cross” and the emphasis is all about crushing the self so you can even be more of a spiritual giant than you already think you are. But sacrifice is actually all about doing something for someone else’s sake, for their benefit. In other words, it’s about love. That’s what you should focus on.

    High-sounding doctrines can also make you think you are very spiritual, because you can see… The Vision. Don’t kid yourself. The general parameters of the LC vision are more or less correct. Yes, God is perfecting a people for his glory. But all the hoo-hah about The New Jerusalem is mostly just overkill and bling. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And when you really start caring about people you begin to lose interest in detailed studies of The New Jerusalem and that kind of thing because they are often a kind of spiritual masturbation. (Did he really say that?! Yes, I did.)

  9. Forgive and move on. Don’t hold grudges and don’t let past LC offenses steal your joy. Shake the dust off your feet. There is too much to live for to be bound to the past. Pray for your old friends in the LC.

  10. Pray. See step one. Keeping praying. Pray all the time. Pray about everything. You will be amazed to find out how much God truly cares about you and is on your side.

Stay positive and full of faith. I hope and pray you will find peace, joy and purpose in your post-LC life like you never dreamed of. With God's help I know you will.

"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:52 AM   #137
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My bad. I should have said, "nearly every message."
Well, ok. You reserve the right to change your mind.

So the new bar you have reset for yourself is "nearly every message".

Nearly means "very close to almost."

So nearly or almost every message in the 120 messages of the Life-study of Genesis would be.... 115 of them at least.

Therefore, please demonstrate that at least 115 of the 120 of the messages in the Life-Study of Genesis there is "condemnation of outside Christians".

You can post the messages here so we can all see for ourselves if every message... oh, sorry, nearly every message substantiates your argument.

Thanks
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:55 AM   #138
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So I see you did not appreciate that message.

Well, let's go ahead and allow you to claim message 54 for your argument. I can argue against it... but your argument fails even if you have it.

You said every message. That is your burden of proof. How about messages 1 -53? and 54 onward?

Drake
If that is the message on Lot, then let's hear your defense.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:22 AM   #139
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If that is the message on Lot, then let's hear your defense.
Actually, no. No need.

I will give that one to you. Message 54 is yours. I have fallen beneath your powers of persuasion. You nailed message 54.

Now, please substantiate your modified claim that in nearly every message there is "condemnation of outside Christians". I've made it easy.... we can just use Life-Study of Genesis as a sample. Perhaps you can prove your assertion with just that. 115 is nearly 120.... so that is the new bar.

Ohio's List:

1) Message 54

Only 114 to go.

thanks
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:13 AM   #140
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As a pastor whose congregation I was a part of for a number of years would say...

"Eat the hay and leave the sticks."

That great advice aside...

Why would someone want to spend time counting how many times the words "denomination" or "religion" is mentioned by Witness Lee.

Shoot...

Wouldn't our time be better spent on worshipping the Lord... As scripture tells us.
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:27 AM   #141
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As a pastor whose congregation I was a part of for a number of years would say...
"Eat the hay and leave the sticks."
That great advice aside...
Why would someone want to spend time counting how many times the words "denomination" or "religion" is mentioned by Witness Lee.
Shoot...Wouldn't our time be better spent on worshipping the Lord... As scripture tells us.
Steel, if we are supposed to just "eat the hay and leave the sticks," then why didn't you stay wherever you were before you joined the LC? There always seems to be a double standard...
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:23 AM   #142
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Read the Genesis message about Lot!... Message #54 or so.... Lee condemns all those meeting in so-called "free group" house churches as the incestuous children of Lot conceived in caves outside of Sodom and Gomorrah... Steel, did you read that message in Genesis?
I have... But just went and quickly read through it again.

Here we go...

First... Context...

"In this message we must see the portrait of a most ugly thing—incest. Genesis 19:30-38, probably the first recorded case of incest in human history, is part of the section on living in fellowship with God. As we consider this matter, we must cover six points: the family, the father, the mother, the daughters, the seed, and the far-reaching and unsearchable mercy of God. . . . Although the record concerning Lot and his daughters in Genesis 19:30-38 is a negative seed, concerning such an ugly thing as incest, it serves the positive purpose of giving us a strong, sobering warning." - Life-Study of Genesis, chap. 54, pg. 1

So the context for this chapter is...

A... What scripture reveals in Genesis 19:30-38 regarding the matter of "...incest..."

B... How this "...iincest..." as revealed in Genesis 19:30-38 relates to the family, the father, the mother, the daughters, the seed, and the far-reaching and unsearchable mercy of God."

C... How being clear on this matter "...serves the positive purpose of giving us a strong, sobering warning."

Good...

Nothing condemning anything or anyone, just a calling of "...incest.." as "...ugly..."... And nothing, in my eyes, unscriptural.

Then comes this...

"The leader of any group needs help. The proper helper in a family is the wife, and in the Bible a wife is called a helpmeet. In figure, the wife in a family signifies a helper in life. This concept is according to the principles of the Bible." - Life-Study of Genesis, chap. 54, pg. 1

Again... Nothing condemning and nothing, in my eyes, unscriptural.

Then comes this...

"As we shall see, at a certain point, Lot's family group lost its function in life because the wife became a pillar of salt. She should have been salty and maintained a good flavor, but due to her worldliness she lost the function in life. In figure, becoming a pillar of salt indicates the loss of the function in life. Although there was a group with a leader, there was no wife with the function in life, only a pillar of shame. This is true of many Christian groups today. Although these groups have leaders, they do not have the proper wife with the genuine function in life." - Life-Study of Genesis, chap. 54, pg. 1

Here is the first reference to "...Christian groups..." . . . But notice that it the phrase is "...many Christian groups..." and not "...all Christian groups..." or even just a generalizing of "...Christian groups...".

Again, that's "...many...", not "...all...".

And the specific context related to this reference of "...many Christian groups..." is that of Lot losing the help/function of his wife/helper because she turned into a pillar of salt by good (meaning, she was dead and unable to function as a help to Lot).

And what the ministry speaking regarding "...many Christian groups..." is saying, is this...

"...Although these groups have leaders, they do not have the proper wife with the genuine function in life."

And further into the ministry speaking in this chapter, on page 4 of the chapter, we read more about this matter of Lot's wife and his lose of her function/life...

"We have seen that the mother, who, as the wife, should have been the helper in life, became a pillar of salt because of her worldliness ([Gen.] 19:26). When Lot's family came into the cave, there was no function of life, for there was no function of the proper wife. As a result, they turned to incest, using such a sinful thing to replace the lost function of life. This is also the situation among many so-called Christian groups. They have lost the function of the Body of Christ, the proper function of life, and use worldly methods to fill the gap. Like Lot's group, they cannot produce the proper "Isaac" for the fulfilling of God's purpose. Because they use incest to secure seed, they produce "Moabites" and "Ammonites."..." - Life-Study of Genesis, chap. 54, pg. 4

Now the above is certainly strong, condemning speaking...

But is it untrue?

Are there not many groups of believers in Christ that "...use worldly methods to fill the gap..." that they have lost regarding the proper function of the Body of Christ... That being the function of life?

Surely you know this to be true, Ohio.

And is the way this fallenness takes place not properly presented in the above ministry speaking?

Isn't turning to the way of the world to produce something not akin to participating in incest to produce offspring?

No doubt it sounds very harsh...

But it's right there in scripture.

And here's what the ministry says regarding the relationship between the incest that took place between Lot and his daughters, and "...many Christian groups..."...

"We have seen that the leader was drugged and befuddled and that the function of life was lost. But the daughters, the members of this free group, still wanted to bear fruit and have the increase. Although they had neither the proper leadership nor the function of life, they had an evil way of acquiring the seed. The same is true among many free groups today. In order to bear fruit, we should live by Christ, live out Christ, pray, and help people to receive the living word of God so that they might be reborn. This is the way to bring forth the proper fruit to be the "Isaac" for the fulfilling of God's purpose. But look at today's situation: some groups use rock music, dancing, drama, movies, and games to satisfy their desire of securing the increase. In the eyes of God, this is spiritual incest. The free groups adopt these methods because the wife, being worldly, has lost her function. In the churches we need the function of life to produce seed. Once people have lost the proper wife with the function in life, they use ugly and worldly means for securing the increase. This is the way of "incest" which brings forth "Moabites" and "Ammonites."..." - Life-Study of Genesis, chap. 54, pg. 4

Again...

Is the above not scriptural?

Sure, Paul says in 1 Corinthains 9:22... "To the weak I became weak that I might gain the weak. To all men I have become all things that I might by all means save some."

And again, in 1 Corinthians 10:33... "Even as I also aplease all men in all things, not seeking my own advantage but that of the many, that they may be saved."

And we read in Romans 15:2... "Let each of us please his neighbor with a view to what is good for building up."
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:32 AM   #143
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Steel, if we are supposed to just "eat the hay and leave the sticks,"... then why didn't you stay wherever you were before you joined the LC?...
Because the Lord wouldn't allow me to.

Eating the hay and leaving the sticks is still a matter that is subject to the Lord.

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Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
... There always seems to be a double standard...
I'm sure that being yet fully perfected there always is, in one way or another, and to one degree or another, with me.

But in the case of my wife and I leaving where we were meeting before the Lord lead us to the local church... Let me clue you in a bit...

I was saved at age 17 but went out into the world until age 34.

At that time I had no memory of being saved, and was suffering in my daily life.

One evening, after restless pacing up and down my apartment floor I went to the phone and called my brother and asked him if I could go to church with him.

Knowing me, after a pause he very carefully answered "Yes, but why?"

I told him I just felt the need to go, and he gave me the address.

It was a small, strip mall meeting hall, that had at best maybe thirty members of the congregation.

After a time of praise, the pastor was giving his sermon and then suddenly stopped and asked if there was anyone who wasn't saved and wanted to be saved.

I just got up out of my chair and walked up to the front of the stage and received the Lord — for what I thought was the first time. It was only some weeks later as I was driving on a highway that the Lord reminded me of what took place some seventeen years before.

So here I was, a member of this small Christian fellowship... Called "Christian Faith Fellowship Church" located in North Miami, FL..

At th etime I lived in North Miami. But a year later, when I got married to my wife, who I preached the gospel to and who got saved at a meeting that I had brought her to, I moved to South Miami — almost forty miles away.

My wife had been previously married and had two children. Their father, on hearing that we were taking them with us to a little strip mall church became offended and started insisting that they begin going back to their district Roman Catholic church — a real church.

After speaking at length with him I was able to get him to agree to us taking the children to the Roman Catholic church service at 8am, and then afterward, going with them to our little strip mall church at 10am.

That required a lot of driving and coordinating, and trying to find a more convenient way to handle the situation was part of what led us to look for somewhere else to be a part of.

At the same time there was some concern regarding how the pastor was handling things at the church we were a part of. He and his wife alone was in charge of everything. There was no elder board/advisors. Which I guess was fine for a small strip mall thirty member church. Except when it came to things like getting people baptized after receiving the Lord (it took almost two years of asking before the pastor arranged a trip to a Miami beachfront park so that quite a few members could be baptized). And that was just one matter... There were a few more, including the constant repeating of sermons he had given in the past.

Long story short, after maybe five years we made up our minds to look soemwhere else. As eventually did my brother and his wife, who had been meeting with that congregation for maybe ten years before leaving.

At the time this was taking place I had begun to see alittle about the oneness of the church that is in Christ Jesus... And also in this... Seeing the lack of oneness that prevades what I would come to know as Christianity.

In this like, and having a marketing background, I began to work on a project called OneAmen, which was to be developed to be a type of non-threatening platform on/in which all believers could come together to fellowship and worship the Lord.

This was in 2001, and myself and someone I'd hired to manage the project attended the Christian Booksellers Convention in Atlanta that year, with the hope (we had no appointments) of presenting our project to movers and shakers at the convention. We simply drove from Miami to Atlanta in the hope of being able to meet and present our project to people.

And against all odds, we did just that... To large two groups.

Both liked the idea... But one in particular said that they saw it as the follow up to the What Would Jesus Do phenomenon... Which was kind of weird because it was something that I had said in a project meeting some months before.

This happened in July of 2001... And 911 happened at the beginning of September, 2001.

Remember how all denominations were coming together... Well, we thought our project was exactly what would build on this unity.

How wrong we were.

It was during this time that I really came to see the true reality of the division that exists with the body of believers... And it horrified me... It was a very hard matter to see and deal with.

Anyway... During this time my wife and I had started looking for a fellowship that was closer to our home in South Miami... And we thought we had found one... With a pretty large congregation — maybe 250 people.

But the one Sunday morning a preacher for Louisiana came to preach about tithing.

See, the pastor of this particular fellowship had bougth a huge piece of land adjacent to the land the present meeting hall facilities was located on... And he had plans... Big plans... To build on that new piece of property.

And boy did that Louisiana preacher work the crowd.

Thing is, I had just experienced the same thing at the Roman Catholic church I had been going to in order to satisfy the father of my step children... As there was also a need to build a new "church" on some land that had been acquired.

And the very same tactics I saw used in the Roman Catholic church, I saw being used in this fellowship we were meeting with.

As the preacher was giving his spiel, I just tuned out and opened my bible and started reading.

It was Hebrews 10:29...

"By how much do you think he will be thought worthy of worse punishment who has trampled underfoot the Son of God and has considered the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing and has insulted the Spirit of grace?"

I started to weep right there in the meeting.

And on the way home I turned to my wife and said I can't go back.

She asked if I meant to that fellowship... And I said "No, I can't go back to any of it."

She knew I loved the Lord and so knew that I did not mean that we would stop "...being Christian...", but when she asked what we would do, I simply said "I don't know."

And so we just fellowshipped with ourselves, and at my brother's home when we could... Until one day we were driving past a building that had a sign in the front that said "The Meeting Hall of the Chruch in Miami".

And the only reason we were even in that area of Miami was because we had lost our business after 911, and had to sell our house and move into an apartment, which we found in that area.

And one evening I saw cars in the parking lot of this building and stopped to find out what exactly it was.

And that's how my wife and I first came in contact with the local church.

Now...

You may choose to call that a "...double standard..."...

Bt I know that I know that it was the hand of God moving according to his need for us.

And I'm good with what I know.

Prasie the Lord.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:34 AM   #144
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

-1

Okay based on Steel's detailed and excellent analysis of Message 54 of the Life-study of Genesis I will remove it from Ohio's credit line.

But to put no greater burden on Ohio's task to substantiate his modified claim that in nearly every message there is "condemnation of outside Christians". I will readjust the benchmark of "nearly" from 115 message proof points out of 120... to 114 out of 120 messages in the Life Study of Genesis to prove his case.

Only fair thing to do under the circumstances.

Ohio proof points = 0
Proof points to go = 114

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Old 02-09-2018, 12:48 PM   #145
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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I have... But just went and quickly read through it again.Here we go...
Steel, did you take this from the original message given by Lee, or the highly sanitized version online?

Obviously LSM has not been "faithful" to Lee's original message. Why don't you listen to the audio tape?
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:06 PM   #146
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Why would someone want to spend time counting how many times the words "denomination" or "religion" is mentioned by Witness Lee.
Seriously? Where have you been for the last 50 years? Between the internet and computers it takes a matter of seconds to do this.

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Shoot...

Wouldn't our time be better spent on worshipping the Lord... As scripture tells us.
Scripture tells us to do a lot of things.

Matt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

1Tim 4:1 But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies...6 If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus,
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:33 PM   #147
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Steel, if we are supposed to just "eat the hay and leave the sticks," then why didn't you stay wherever you were before you joined the LC? There always seems to be a double standard...
Lee’s churches deliver hay flavored sticks that poison the mind. Had I not met the Lord before being subject to his teachings - I could have been one of them. Praise God for his deliverance and I pray a covering for those steeped in the confusion within their church.

I read something recently that made me think of the LSM churches - “Our religious institutions are not giving very many men access to credible encounters with the Holy or even their own wholeness. We largely give men mandates, scaffolding, signposts, and appealing images that tend to create religious identity and boundaries from the outside.” As opposed to Christ and his Spirit working from inside of us.

Later he talks about the religious language in relation to the language we use when speaking authentically based on experience or true encounter of love. I hope that encounter of love for each person reading.
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:46 PM   #148
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My desire for posting on this forum has always been simply to help people over the hump of being able to deal psychologically with leaving the LC. Mostly I have done this by arguing that many LC teachings and beliefs are unbiblical, illogical and untenable.

I hope that has been helpful, but I’d like to start a thread to provide some advice for people who are considering leaving or have left and are still having trouble moving on.

Here are some things which I had to learn the hard way. I think they will help you make the transition more easily:
  1. Pray. Pray a lot. The fact is most LCers don’t know how to pray for themselves or their family in a detailed and focused way. This has to be learned if you are going to move on. Get practical and specific with your prayers. Ask God to show you what is real and what is false. Ask him to protect you from spiritual attack. Ask him to fill you with peace and joy. Ask him about specific LC teachings which are holding you back. Ask him about the local ground, spiritual authority and any other teachings you have taken for granted. You’ll be amazed how he opens your eyes.

    There is one mediator between man and God--and it is not Witness Lee, the BBs, Titus Chu, or your former elders or small group leader. It’s Jesus. We have direct access to God. 1 John says we don’t need anyone to teach us. That means God himself will lead us. Call in this promise on your life. Pray about everything. God will answer.

  2. Get to know God. The LC mindset is not truly conducive to getting to know God. God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being. Throw that teaching in the trash. It’s keeping you from knowing God personally. God is a person we can get to know. Eternal life is knowing God. That means getting to know his thoughts, feelings and tendencies. He will communicate these to you if you stop thinking about him all the time as water, bread or a “dose.” Sure in a sense he is all these things. But they are all metaphors for what he is to us personally. First and foremost he is a person. Talk to him and think of him as a person as real and approachable as your wife or best friend. Because he is actually more so that than anyone.

  3. Read the Bible and throw away the footnotes. Read a lot of different Christian authors. Read carefully, but with an open, uncritical mind. Give God a chance to say something to you that you don't expect. Notice how all writers and teachers are a little different and are just expressing their points of view. Then realize that's all Witness Lee was doing, whether or not he thought so himself.

  4. Focus on the first and second commandments. Love God and love people. We all know we are supposed to love God. But LCers have a strange way of loving people. You can’t love people if you treat and think of them as aliens from another planet. I think the best thing for any LCer would be to have a gay couple move in next door and to hear God telling them to love and be good neighbors to that couple (this actually happened to me), to learn to see them as people just like you, because the fact is that’s how God sees them. God loves everyone. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Learn to look at everyone the way God sees them. Love the bum on the street. Love the guy with the bandana, tattoos and piercings. Stop calling them “the unbelievers.” Love Christians of all stripes. Stop calling them "those in Christianity." That’s just elitism and snobbery, and it is not Jesus.

  5. Banish fear and stay positive. Faith and fear have something in common. They both ask us to believe something in the future that we cannot see. Fear is the enemy's tactic. Faith is God's way. When you begin to notice fear creeping around, banish it, and stand in faith that God wants to set you free.

    Tell yourself that you are God’s child and he loves you and has a purpose for you. Don’t give in to negative self-talk or condemnation. Read positive Christian writers like Norman Vincent Peale, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen (yes, Joel Osteen!).

  6. Start at home. If you don’t love your spouse, your kids, your family, friends and neighbors, and serve them like Christ would, then forget about the church. God is practical. Our mission field starts with the person who sleeps with us, then moves to our kids, and so forth. Start there. Be a good spouse and parent. If you can’t do that the rest is just an act anyway. The good news is starting at home is life-sized. Anyone can do it.

  7. Find some new Christian friends and just love them in a simple way. You probably think you are a superior class of Christian and more transformed and so much clearer than all those poor, clueless non-LC Christians, don’t you? Boy, are you in for a shock. You are not near as transformed as you think. In fact, you probably aren’t much transformed at all. I don’t think I experienced any real transformation until recently in my life. Get humble and get some new friends and companions. Let God teach you through them. You might be surprised and probably will be.

  8. Forget about spirituality and high-sounding doctrines, and just live a life of love and service. The fact is the LC is all about being spiritual, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. For example, when the LC thinks of sacrifice they talk about “taking the cross” and the emphasis is all about crushing the self so you can even be more of a spiritual giant than you already think you are. But sacrifice is actually all about doing something for someone else’s sake, for their benefit. In other words, it’s about love. That’s what you should focus on.

    High-sounding doctrines can also make you think you are very spiritual, because you can see… The Vision. Don’t kid yourself. The general parameters of the LC vision are more or less correct. Yes, God is perfecting a people for his glory. But all the hoo-hah about The New Jerusalem is mostly just overkill and bling. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And when you really start caring about people you begin to lose interest in detailed studies of The New Jerusalem and that kind of thing because they are often a kind of spiritual masturbation. (Did he really say that?! Yes, I did.)

  9. Forgive and move on. Don’t hold grudges and don’t let past LC offenses steal your joy. Shake the dust off your feet. There is too much to live for to be bound to the past. Pray for your old friends in the LC.

  10. Pray. See step one. Keeping praying. Pray all the time. Pray about everything. You will be amazed to find out how much God truly cares about you and is on your side.

Stay positive and full of faith. I hope and pray you will find peace, joy and purpose in your post-LC life like you never dreamed of. With God's help I know you will.

"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
Thank you for posting this. I've realized some of these things but have a ways to go. Specifically, with praying. Sometimes I don't know where to start. I feel like I'm on ground zero now with God. I appreciate you saying, "God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being." This is something I've heard my whole life- I want to go back and read every verse the LC uses to justify this and see what the verses REALLY say.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:15 PM   #149
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Thank you for posting this. I've realized some of these things but have a ways to go. Specifically, with praying. Sometimes I don't know where to start. I feel like I'm on ground zero now with God. I appreciate you saying, "God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being." This is something I've heard my whole life- I want to go back and read every verse the LC uses to justify this and see what the verses REALLY say.
Good for you!
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:34 PM   #150
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Thank you for posting this. I've realized some of these things but have a ways to go. Specifically, with praying. Sometimes I don't know where to start. I feel like I'm on ground zero now with God. I appreciate you saying, "God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being." This is something I've heard my whole life- I want to go back and read every verse the LC uses to justify this and see what the verses REALLY say.
God’s substance is Spirit (John 4:24).

God wants us to receive and be filled with the Spirit (John 7:39,Ephesians 5:18)

Therefore God is a substance (Spirit) to be dispensed into our being.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:50 AM   #151
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

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Thank you for posting this. I've realized some of these things but have a ways to go. Specifically, with praying. Sometimes I don't know where to start. I feel like I'm on ground zero now with God.
And yet... Scripture tells us that our Lord said...

Matthew 13:11... "And He answered and said to them, Because to you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, but to them it has not been given."

And Paul, who is thought to be the author of most of the new testament scripture, scripture tells us, says this...

Galatians 1:12... "For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation by Jesus Christ."

So why do you think you would be at "...on ground zero now with God..." given the realities revealed in the above (and many other) scripture verses being true?

Do you not think that God wants you to know what to pray for?

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I appreciate you saying, "God is not a substance to be dispensed into your being." This is something I've heard my whole life- I want to go back and read every verse the LC uses to justify this and see what the verses REALLY say.
And yet...

Scripture tells us right at the very beginning of scripture...

Genesis 2:7... "Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul."

How can that which "...is not a substance to be dispensed into your being...", breath Himself into that which He created, causing this creature to become "..a living soul...".

And more...

Scripture tells us...

Ecclesiastes 12:7... "And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it."

And if for some reason you don't think what the old testament scripture tells us is relevant to us... Let's look at what new testament scripture says on the matter...

2 Corinthians 13:5... "Test yourselves whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are disapproved?"

From Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible...

"...prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you; by which he means, that if they took a survey of things in their own souls, it would appear that Christ was in them; not as he is in all the world, filling heaven and earth with his presence; or as he is in every rational creature, as the Creator and author of the light of nature; but in a special and spiritual manner, by his Spirit and grace; the Father reveals him in his people, as the foundation of their hope of glory; he himself enters and takes possession of their hearts in conversion, communicates his grace, and manifests himself, and is formed there by his Spirit; his graces are implanted, his image is stamped, his Spirit is put within them, and he himself dwells by faith: and this upon inquiry would be found to be the case of the Corinthians,..."

This in particular...

"...he himself enters and takes possession of their hearts in conversion, communicates his grace, and manifests himself, and is formed there by his Spirit; his graces are implanted, his image is stamped, his Spirit is put within them, and he himself dwells by faith: and this upon inquiry would be found to be the case of the Corinthians,..."

And Matthew Henry Commentary...

"...They ought to know if Christ Jesus was in them, by the influences, graces, and indwelling of his Spirit, by his kingdom set up in their hearts. Let us question our own souls; either we are true Christians, or we are deceivers. Unless Christ be in us by his Spirit, and power of his love, our faith is dead, and we are yet disapproved by our Judge."

And Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers...

"..."Christ is in you" (the central thought of the Apostle's teaching; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 2:22; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27),..."

Galatians 1:16... "But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me through His grace,... To reveal His Son in me that I might announce Him as the gospel among the Gentiles, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood,..."

Ephesians 2:22... "In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit."

Ephesians 3:19... "And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God."

And if the above scripture verses are not enough, how about...

Colossians 1:27... "To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,..."

And there are many more.

Perhaps your problem regarding not knowing what to pray... Is a direct result of not believing that God... Is... As substance that is dispensed into your being.

Not a "...substance..." that has been created... But an uncreated, mysterious "...substance...".

As scripture tells us our Lord said...

John 4:24... "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness."

Amen.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:46 AM   #152
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God’s substance is Spirit (John 4:24).
God wants us to receive and be filled with the Spirit (John 7:39,Ephesians 5:18)
Therefore God is a substance (Spirit) to be dispensed into our being.
Thanks for providing scripture, Evangelical.

Here are the verses
John 4:24 http://biblehub.com/blb/john/4.htm
John 7:39 http://biblehub.com/blb/john/7.htm
John 5:18 http://biblehub.com/blb/ephesians/5.htm

I don’t see the word “substance”, nor “dispense”.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #153
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Default Re: Tips on Making Leaving the LC Easier

Wow. Pretty humbling that this thread I started six years ago still has some legs.

The question of Spirit as substance is one we probably cannot come to a conclusion about. In one sense it seems the Spirit is "stuff." But the problem sets in when we limit him to only that.

My belief is that spirit is the reality of what a person is. It is the essence of what matters. This is why the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of reality." The Holy Spirit is always about the essence of God, both in himself and in our experience. So though it is not wrong to think of the Spirit in terms of a "substance," we need to realize the potential problems of equating him to a physical, non-personal substance.

The Spirit is the reality of God; and God is, first and foremost, a personal Being. Because of this, personality and personal relationship are most important aspects of the Spirit. Everything we experience about the Spirit is an aspect of a relational Personality, not of an unconscious substance.

This why emphasizing substance over personality, which Lee did, is questionable. It moves the experience of God from the experience of a Person to the experience of a Thing. We must always remember that all our experiences of God are experiences of a conscious Being. We must not reduce them to unconscious things which exist for our benefit.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:54 PM   #154
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Igzy,

We disagree about many things, perhaps most.. but just wanted to say glad to see you make an appearance. Hope this finds you well.

Now, where were we....

Drake
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:56 PM   #155
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-1

Igzy,

We disagree about many things, perhaps most.. but just wanted to say glad to see you make an appearance. Hope this finds you well.

Now, where were we....

Drake
Hey, thanks Drake. I appreciate and echo the sentiments. God is good and I've experienced his goodness. Hope you are well, too.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:33 PM   #156
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Igzy, We disagree about many things, perhaps most.. but just wanted to say glad to see you make an appearance. Hope this finds you well. Now, where were we....
Wow, and that's something Drake and I can completely agree on --

It's always a good day when Igzy stops by!
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:55 PM   #157
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Wow, and that's something Drake and I can completely agree on --

It's always a good day when Igzy stops by!
Hey, Ohio! Always good to hear from you as well!
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